Opinion: From Our Readers - Good crisis training but where was Twitter?

Your attendance at Edelman's crisis simulation exercise raised some interesting issues, but I was surprised by the lack of social media interaction (Features, 13 August).

This is understandable as it is difficult to simulate the torrent of comment, information and virtual spam that flows thorough Twitter, Facebook and so on in many crisis situations. We have found one of the biggest challenges for the comms team is monitoring this effectively, identifying the few comments that you can respond to from the many to be ignored, and being prepared and ready to do so in a timely and effective manner.

There are many journalists and bloggers who post when they are writing - or even about to write - on Twitter, allowing you to spot bad press immediately and intervene quickly. Our experience is that getting to a key influencer swiftly with helpful material can effectively turn sentiment.

Simulating this is difficult because you cannot post false comments on Twitter etc, but when we work with clients we show what they need to have in place and throw 'fake postings' around to test how they would react.

Jason Nisse, head of emergency relations, Fishburn Hedges

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