09 October 2018

Delivering a crisis management workshop in Denmark

We flew over to the University of Aarhus in Denmark to deliver a crisis management workshop to 50 students from five European universities.

Recently, we flew over to the University of Aarhus in Denmark to deliver a crisis management workshop to 50 students from five European universities. The event was the culmination of over two years of planning and was the first of its kind.

The workshop was delivered as part of Rocca.’s work in the EUMADE4LL project as labour market partner. Rocca. is proud to be working in collaboration with The University of Messina, Aarhus University, The University of Leeds, The University of Rome, The University of Florence and Hannover University and is the first private sector organisation to do so in an ERASMUS+ project.

EUMADE4LL aims to design, implement and test a transnational joint syllabus that integrates multimodal digital literacy and English for international communication.

As labour market partner, Rocca.'s role was to introduce practical experience into the syllabus. Drawing on its work with several multinational organisations, Rocca. developed a crisis management workshop with a focus on Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).

The event was to be hosted at the University of Aarhus Business School. Here an immersive event was delivered to fifty unsuspecting students. The crisis took the form of a food mislabelling issue. This type of artwork issue is commonplace in the food industry, but unknown to the participants, things would only get worse as the issue escalated into an international health crisis.

With no prior experience and no briefing pre-event, students knew only that they should arrive as communications employees of Will’s – a fictitious multinational food producer. They were joining colleagues from Will’s seven global territories in their annual department conference. The crisis broke in the morning of day one, and students became a rapid response communication department attempting to curtail an international reputation disaster.

The tasks to be delivered as part of the workshop varied from international press releases, to speeches written for the CEO with a mock press corps to test its likely outcome. Day three saw students present their ideas for rebuilding the global reputation of the food giant and rebuilding employee cooperation.

Students were thrown together from different countries and asked to deliver tasks working in groups of complete strangers, using English as lingua franca.

The workshop was intended to demonstrate the, sometimes, unpredictable nature of the workplace – using the crisis as catalyst for team building, time management, cooperation and camaraderie under the intense pressure of deadline and public opinion.

The EUMADE4LL project is in its third year and will culminate in June 2019 with an international conference in Rome.