Integrated monitoring-and-response approach ushers crisis training into the digital age

Calgary, AB – November 9, 2012Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K) is pleased to introduce Flight School, a new comprehensive crisis simulation tool that combines H+K communications training experts, customized materials and new proprietary technology. Flight School was developed through a close collaboration between crisis communications professionals, digital strategists and engineers and provides participants in crisis exercises with the opportunity to overcome challenges in a comprehensive, timely and strategic manner.

“Flight School gives our clients an authentic, real-time crisis experience they won’t find anywhere else,” says Jane Shapiro, national service leader, corporate and crisis communications, H+K. “The key to Flight School is realism. Digital communications and social media play a key role in any crisis management and response. Flight School allows participants to interact with these elements, monitoring and utilizing social media to manage a simulated crisis situation.”

The platform’s ‘dashboard’ shows participants what would be happening in the news media, on blogs, on Twitter, and Facebook. Participants do more than just watch — they participate. Clients can issue a press release, write a blog post, respond to clients on Twitter, or craft a post for their Facebook page. Completely secure and private, Flight School’s dashboard allows clients to interact with both traditional and social media without running the risk of posting anything publicly. This also allows them to incorporate social media managers and others responsible for front-line response directly into the simulation.

“The velocity with which information and images travel across the social web presents huge problems for the crisis communications team,” said Boyd Neil, national service leader, social media and digital communications, H+K. “Unless teams are practiced in responding with the same speed — while providing accurate context and facts — the crisis ‘story’ will be written by others.”

For additional details about Flight School and to see a video of the simulation, visit

About Hill+Knowlton Strategies Canada

With nine offices across the country, Hill+Knowlton Strategies is a leader in both PR and public affairs. The company is the No. 1-rated strategic communications firm in Canada. It specializes in corporate communications, public affairs, marketing communications, crisis, energy, technology, health care, digital communications, financial communications and transactions. The only communications firm to have earned the Order of Excellence from Excellence Canada, it is also recognized as one of the 2012 Best Workplaces in Canada. Its parent company, Hill+Knowlton Strategies Inc., has 86 offices in 46 countries as well as an extensive associate network and is a member of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), one of the world’s largest communications services groups.