Don’t Know How To Manage A PR Disaster? This New Tool Might Help…

bald business man screaming in crisis at computer from pressure watching stocks crash
SHARE
THIS



A Melbourne-based crisis communications and reputation management expert has turned entrepreneur by launching a web-based crisis training tool that mirrors a realistic media-rich environment.

Gerry McCusker is the man behind The Drill, which offers clients the worst day of their professional life by immersing clients into a wholly realistic PR disaster.

The SaaS platform, now formally out of beta-testing, dramatises the way organisations prepare for crises in a manner that delivers training outcomes via realistic and interactive publishing.

It simulates a myriad of multi-channel pressures – from email and media phone calls to online news, radio and TV reports – plus influential social media channels that still ambush companies looking to avert or manage crises.

Speaking to B&T, McCusker said the idea came about around 18 months ago through his own observations working as a crisis management expert and feedback from clients.

“I’ve been doing issues and crisis management advice for a long time, and it became apparent to me that you can’t prepare for a modern PR disaster on paper,” he said.

“A couple of clients also came to me and said, ‘You’ve given us the steps, but how do we know when to do what you’re saying to do?’”

Gerry McCusker

Gerry McCusker

McCusker and his team of seven developed an open-source platform first just to see how it would all look, before putting it through beta testing with eight clients.

“The problem with developing this type of tool is that when you start to build it, it starts to tell you what it needs to do,” McCusker said.

“The challenge is knowing when to put the brakes on and stop adding more features to it, and accepting that what we’ve built is innovative and exactly what our clients are after.”

McCusker said the platform would be attractive to issues-rich and “tough to love” organisations – “the ones who are going to have problems regularly”.

“We like to call it not just a PR crisis simulator but a trans-media crisis simulator,” he said.

“It can actually be used as a campaign simulator as well, so clients can see how their campaigns will look when they go online, including social media.”

The Drill also offers a scalable fee structure for clients based on the type of complexity they want.

“Some clients only want to test out how they would respond to negative comments on social media channels, which we could create for them in half a day,” McCusker said.

“Other clients want to see how they’ll go when there’s radio and TV, so you’d be looking at five or six figures for that.

“We also offer a licence model, so we can actually run the simulators for clients, then we can deactivate the content and the clients can license it and use it anytime they want after.”

McCusker said there are three clients spanning the infrastructure, healthcare, energy and education sectors that are currently using The Drill.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Advertising Standards Bureau crisis management Gerry McCusker PR crisis PR crisis management The Drill

Latest News

72andSunny Unveils First Campaign For Plant-Based Drink Brand Australia’s Own
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

72andSunny Unveils First Campaign For Plant-Based Drink Brand Australia’s Own

Freedom Foods and 72andSunny Sydney have launched the first advertising campaign for Australia’s Own range of plant-based beverages. The campaign introduces a new visual world and identity for the brand and captures the healthy, positive feeling you get when spending time in nature and when consuming Australia’s Own certified-organic, plant-based beverages. As well as featuring […]

Are You Paying Too Much In Search Marketing?
  • Partner Content

Are You Paying Too Much In Search Marketing?

Are you paying too much for search marketing? Discover the awful truth here. Or, alternatively, look at the invoice.

Partner Content

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Nine APAC Finalists In One Club’s Young Guns 19 Competition
  • Advertising

Nine APAC Finalists In One Club’s Young Guns 19 Competition

Nine creatives from APAC are among the 94 finalists from 27 countries in The One Club for Creativity’s prestigious Young Guns 19 competition, celebrating international creative professionals age 30 or younger. The finalists from APAC are: Hiu Ching Kung, graphic designer, Hong Kong Lam Ieong Kun, graphic designer, illustrator, indego design, Macau Raxenne Maniquiz, graphic designer, illustrator, Santa Maria (Philippines) Kiyotaka […]

Adflow’s Regional OOH Coverage Expands By 60%
  • Media

Adflow’s Regional OOH Coverage Expands By 60%

OOH transit company Adflow has announced the success of the first phase of its regional expansion program. Adflow’s regional footprint has increased by 60 per cent to now include 65 regional locations. With 9.1 million people living regionally in Australia (growth of 1.1 per cent experienced in the 19/20 Financial year) and most regional centres […]

Freshworks Starts Trading On Nasdaq, Valued at $13.7 Billion
  • Technology

Freshworks Starts Trading On Nasdaq, Valued at $13.7 Billion

Freshworks, a leading software company, has started trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, marking an important milestone for the company. The company priced its IPO at US$36 per share (AU$49.76), raising about US$1 billion (AU$1.4B), resulting in a total market capitalisation of AU$13.7 billion  (US$10B). Freshworks, which was founded in India, has strong roots […]

SLIK Announces Four New Key Hires
  • Marketing
  • Media

SLIK Announces Four New Key Hires

Independent creative agency, SLIK, has made significant changes to its full service creative offering with four hires across management, creative and production.

How Retailers Can Maximise Their Results This Sales Season
  • Marketing
  • Technology

How Retailers Can Maximise Their Results This Sales Season

Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is the biggest player in the holiday shopping game and Google’s most recent research suggests consumer interest for the peak sales season starts much earlier than retailers may realise. The pandemic has fundamentally changed buyer behaviour over peak sales season, with Google suggesting that global consumer interest in Black Friday […]