The next crisis will cut to the core of your reputation.
Stress-test your team’s response now with crisis simulations.
When you have practice under pressure, you’ll navigate the unforeseen with speed, skill, confidence — and your public image intact.
It’s your job to see reputational risks around corner
Scandals, public outrage, data breaches, product recalls, executive misconduct, misinformation…
To stave off the worst, you can spend weeks and months categorizing and planning to control the “what-ifs”.
But preparing under cool conditions? It’s nothing like the real crisis experience
The late-night call that sets your pulse racing.
The ‘this can’t be real’ denial as you get your arms around the issue.
The sweaty fingertip paused on the dial screen, deciding who should handle what facet of a fast-emerging issue.
You’re tasked with crafting near-instant answers to the outrage
And it’s alive on too many channels to track, let alone prioritize with clarity.
Even if you’re a seasoned crisis manager — even if you can control your own visceral reaction to fall back on what you’ve seen and done before…
Not everyone on your team has that experience.
And the flashpoint is just the beginning. As the tension escalates through waves of legal and regulator involvement, media and public attention, there are too many opportunities for missteps.
In a perfect world, your entire team would align at a moment’s notice around an unassailable plan
You’d mitigate the risk with precision, foresight and perfect EQ.
Before the issue leaks beyond a murmur in quiet corners of the internet, you’d be scoring public points instead of taking reputational hits.
And the collateral damage? Only a handful of sleepless nights.
But there’s a myth that keeps teams from performing at the highest levels in a crisis
It’s the belief that you can get there by planning alone.
In no other high-stakes profession does this myth persist. Athletes, pilots, firefighters, surgeons, soldiers — they perform when it counts because they’ve practiced.
So, why do we expect to get it right when everyone is watching, based only on plans?
Rarely does disaster unfold as anticipated.
Rarely is there time to salvage what’s relevant from plans created pre-crisis.
And that’s why it’s rare that you’ll ever handle a calamity by pulling your crisis planning binders off the shelves.
Creating volumes of plans might make you feel good, and make your consultant a lot of money, but unless your people have truly begun to experience the crisis moment on their own, you don't know if you're ready or not.
Corporate crises unfold at lightning speed in the digital age. Companies suddenly find themselves on the defensive... As social media makes these moments ricochet around the web like never before, companies are realizing they don’t have the luxury of calmly sitting back, assessing the situation and then deciding on a solution. They need to be ready before it happens.
New York TImes
Your team can only be fast enough and effective enough in real-time if you stress-test your crisis response
Instead of finding a crisis to plan for; instead of declaring victory when the plan is “done”, your team must…
Practice with the dynamic feedback of a real crisis;
Learn to act effectively while the countdown timer is on;
And be truly ready when the next crisis finds you.
Over 25 years of managing high-stakes crises, I’ve observed this with striking consistency:
No one who’s been through a gruelling crisis unprepared would ever willingly do so again.
Not our Fortune 500 clients. Not the politicians or leaders of institutions that find us on their worst days.
Because the crucible of crisis does not develop your leadership. It reveals it. And many leaders are not prepared to have their crisis skills revealed.
So, we asked ourselves, ‘How can we use the time between crises to teach our clients how we manage reputational catastrophes in the heat of the moment?’
And the answer, based on research, is that to build crisis pattern recognition and cognitive ‘muscle memory’, communicators need to feel, think and act as if they really are in crisis.
That’s why simulations are the answer for organizations that can’t risk being unprepared.
You can have tool books, and you can have step-by-step guides, but you really only learn by doing.
Everything is wonderful as you go through the checklist sitting around a table, but now add the element of time, and people calling, clients getting mad and the situation progressively getting worse.
The fact that Bill and his team can recreate that stress for you is the differentiator here.
VP, CORPORATE AFFAIRS & COMMUNICATIONS,
FORTUNE 500 COMPANY
Kith Crisis Simulations immerse your team in the high-stakes and high-stress of realistic crises
In a Crisis Simulation, you will…
Choose from Three Ways to Simulate Crises with Kith...
1. Full-Scale Kith Crisis Simulations
Simulation Technology + Experiential Immersion + Expert Feedback
Like an escape room customized for communicators…
Kith Crisis Simulations are as close to an actual public crisis as your team can experience entirely behind closed doors.
Together, you’re thrown into a fully-orchestrated crisis scenario to make critical decisions while the timer counts down.
All in an environment secure from leaks.
We run full-blown crisis exercises on a private server with industrial-strength security and built-in private messaging to keep the exercise off your corporate networks or third party services.
Here’s how Kith Crisis Simulations work:
Crisis Concept Design
Kith consults with you to create a crisis scenario:
With our advice, you decide who on your team will be there on simulation day: Communications, the C-suite, Legal, HR, Operations — anyone who needs to be involved in responding to this specific crisis.
With our crisis simulation technology team, Kith creates:
Only your assigned lead knows what will unfold. The rest of the team is in the dark until simulation day.
On simulation day, your team takes their places — in-person or remotely — and the crisis breaks.
In a simulation that intensifies the arc of the crisis, you will:
From an adjoining room or off-site, Kith runs the simulation.
We’re observing and documenting how your team responds. We’re coordinating the “journalist” calls, simulating email and social reactions to your statements and replies. And we’re finely modulating the pressure.
Close & Debrief
While the Crisis Simulation is fresh, Kith walks your team through key strengths and areas for improvement.
Reflecting back the specifics of your performance, we discuss:
You get a full follow-up report with a detailed assessment of your team’s performance, plus Kith’s recommendations for building your crisis preparedness.
Because while the next real crisis won’t be the same, what you practiced in the simulation applies — it’s the same arc of the crisis and you’ll take the same steps to manage it.
How will your team members react to Kith Crisis Simulations?
Here’s what participants had to say
It's a very high-pressure situation for those involved. They're also trying to show their competence and I think Kith deals with that very well. Bill knows he’s putting his own clients through the wringer for the purposes of their professional growth and growth as a team. But it went really well.
Going in, I was very nervous. Looking back on that, every crisis is different, so that's a good feeling to have. You don't know what to expect and you just have to react. Practicing that behavior is a good thing.
If you're going to make a mistake, this is the room to do it in. You have to look at it as personal growth.
You do make a lot of mistakes in the room and we're all go-getters, alpha people, we want to be great at work. But it helped us all in the end. I feel very positive about that experience. It was a process of growth.
I grew and I learned and I'm incredibly changed by the experience.
Kith Crisis Simulations accelerate the pattern recognition that makes good communicators indispensable in a crisis
In the moment of highest tension, when you’ve been here before, cognitive ‘muscle memory’ kicks in. You draw on what worked and avoid what didn’t.
Your team aligns in their roles faster, you focus on what matters and stick to the right messages.
What could that mean for a team like yours?
We're able to flatten the curve of future crises
A crisis has a trajectory. It's like coronavirus. You can either flatten the curve or the curve can get worse by the actions you take. And we're able to flatten the curve of future crises.
Kith Crisis Simulation Client
I think it becomes very evident what is working well, what’s not and where you have gaps, not only in team dynamics but in structures. When you come out of it, there are obvious things that I have imprinted in my mind: "Don't make that mistake again because it doesn't work.
Kith Crisis Simulation client
The next time you do it, you remember. It's all very obvious what is working, and what isn't and how you can improve, and use the time in between those simulations. Things go smoother as a result of doing the simulation. The difference is in my stress level and everyone else's.
Kith Crisis Simulation client
2. Kith Crisis Management Tabletop Training
Crisis Scenario + Team Response + Debrief
If a Kith Crisis Simulation is like an escape game…
Tabletop Training is like a surprise dress rehearsal.
Crisis Concept Design is the same. We still choose a realistic “what-if” scenario with elements of the unpredictable. Your team still walks into that scenario cold.
And the countdown is on while you develop your strategy, your statements and key messages.
As in a simulation, you learn what went well, what didn’t and what you can do differently next time.
Only the tech-enabled, simulated influx of outrage and inquiry are absent.
Kith Crisis Simulation Tabletop Trainings are for teams who need crisis management training sooner. Tabletops can be set up and executed quickly.
3. Self-Guided Crisis Exercise
Crisis Scenario + Complete Materials + Set-Up Support
Test your team’s crisis response and hone your readiness — without the cost of experienced consultants to lead the process.
With Kith’s Self-Guided Crisis Exercises, you set up the pre-prepared scenario and lead your team through the crisis drill.
It’s the DIY version of Kith Crisis Management Tabletops.
Ideal when led by an executive, head of communication or any leader invested in your team’s crisis preparedness.
Order a Kith Crisis Exercise Kit
Scenarios can range from Viral Outbreaks, Data Breaches, Harassment Allegations, Food Recall and more.
Choose the scenario that best fits your organization and add additional scenarios at any time.
Plan Your Self-Guided Crisis Exercise
Your crisis-exercise-in-a-box comes with everything you need to customize and run a realistic, challenging drill with your team, including:
Time to prepare varies but a typical scenario will take 10-30 hours of setup time for the host. You get faster at planning each time you run a new scenario.
Run Your Scenario, Debrief & Improve
Host your Self-Guided Crisis Exercise in 2-3 hours as a team. Choose an uninterrupted training setting and include anyone key to your crisis response.
Inside your Crisis Exercise kit, you’ll have tools and templates to measure your team’s performance in the crisis scenario.
Use the materials included in your kit to improve your crisis readiness during debrief and post-exercise planning.
From running crisis simulations with Fortune 500 companies, we know that nothing elevates crisis response skills like practice. Every team should have experience responding to crises before a crisis hits. That’s why we’ve drawn from the best of our crisis scenario designs, our simulation coaching and pulled our own Kith materials into these DIY kits.
Self-Guided Crisis Exercise Pricing
All materials and one scenario of your choice come in a complete Crisis Exercise Kit ($2,000). Additional scenarios can be added at $500 each. The initial kit is your roadmap for each and a one-time investment.
Whether you choose a Full-Scale Kith Crisis Simulation, Tabletop Training or Self-Guided Exercise
Crisis readiness practice pays off when...
For all that we gain, for a company of our size and the value of our brand, investing in a simulation and being able to mitigate a crisis is nothing when you put it in those terms.
Kith Crisis Simulation Client
For reasons related to reputation, in 2012 we felt the team managing our $20 billion meat business could benefit from the type of tabletop exercise Kith offers clients facing myriad issues. We chose a nationwide food safety recall scenario.
While there were internal questions regarding the value of such an exercise, especially given the company's extensive experience handling challenges large and small, we felt practice dealing with a scenario that garnered national news coverage would help us focus on how to properly manage the real thing going forward.
Important learnings included the resources required given the speed, breadth and intensity of news coverage, and the concurrent need to properly manage communications with all internal and external stakeholders. The exercise was invaluable.
RETIRED DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS,
Why trust Kith with your team’s crisis readiness?
Kith crisis readiness exercises and training are designed and led by Bill Coletti, Kith founder and author of Critical Moments, the book described as “a must-read for CEOs and their teams for its concepts on how reputations are made, lost, and grown.”
In a 25-year career serving Fortune 500 companies, major institutions, political campaigns and NGOs, Bill has been senior counsel in high-stakes crisis management, issues management, media relations, corporate communications, and reputation defence.
Before founding Kith, Bill co-led the Global Risk Management and Crisis Communications Practice for Hill+Knowlton Strategies.
Today, Bill manages Kith’s team of senior crisis management specialists, advisors and engages the brilliant technical minds who make Kith Simulations so very like real crises.
Get answers to your crisis and reputation management questions when you talk to Kith.