Case Study: Dairy Management Inc.

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Since 2001, Weber Shandwick has partnered with Dairy Management Inc. to help the dairy industry prepare for a crisis. We work together each year to ensure a higher level of preparedness at every point in the dairy supply chain. Programs include webinars, crisis preparedness and response drills, messaging, and emergency websites.

A key feature of the crisis preparedness program began in 2009 with the start of the regional crisis drills. The two-day crisis drills put the industry-wide plan to the test. A “real-time” (fictional) crisis scenario gives dairy industry participants a safe environment to test their crisis skills, messaging and better understand their role in an emergency. The fictional scenario, and corresponding breakout sessions and challenges, change every two years so the industry can test itself against its most likely scenarios and participants can continue building their crisis skillsets. Over the years, Weber Shandwick has built scenarios around product contaminations and recalls, a U.S. outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease and most recently a natural disaster leading to a radiation leak.

Each drill scenario is escalated and intensified with the use of Weber Shandwick’s multimedia crisis simulator, firebell. This program simulates the experience of tweeting and posting to Facebook in real-time. Drill participants are able to engage in social maneuvers in a secure, protected environment; firebell resolves the static-drill issue: this is alive.

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