TAMU business students gain experience responding to corporate brand crises

Texas A&M Mays Business School

In November 2017, the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University used SimulationDeck to power a crisis simulation course module for Marketing 438 students. The exercise gave 80 undergraduate students a realistic scenario to apply crisis communication and marketing principles learned throughout the year. To prepare for the graded simulation, students were given the opportunity to learn about exercises in a lecture provided by Nusura staff alongside an abridged active shooter simulation.

Pre-produced TV and radio broadcasts provided situational awareness and introduced rumors, misinformation, and additional ground truth for students as a simulated oil spill wreaked havoc in the Gulf of Mexico – threatening business continuity for two simulated oil companies. Using SimulationDeck social media accounts, the 80 students worked to identify emerging issues, capture and share incident information, develop and issue statements in written and multimedia format, and respond to inquiries from simulated social media, affected individuals, members of the public and other stakeholders.

The exercise design, supported by Nusura, not only gave students the opportunity to apply crisis communication skills but also served as a valuable exercise in empathy. While half of the students worked in teams representing oil companies, the remaining students worked to develop marketing campaigns against the oil companies as members of environmentally concerned citizen-organized groups. This hands-on activity gave students the advantage of having multiple perspectives of the same event, enhancing their ability to communicate effectively.

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