Lower Sixth Girls Participate in Wycombe Abbey’s First Communications Conference

Pupils in the Lower Sixth recently participated in an exciting media crisis simulation as part of the two-day Wycombe Abbey Communications Conference.

The girls took on the role of the communications department of a fictitious ice cream company as it navigated a series of public relations disasters.

Amongst the stories that hit the troubled ice cream company was a misguided tweet sent by an inexperienced employee, a customer boycott over animal welfare concerns, controversy over executive pay and a product recall caused by a food poisoning outbreak.

The girls participated in television interviews with real-life journalists. They also had to respond to social media, emails, blog posts and videos throughout the crisis.

The simulation was run using Team XP by Conducttr, a software package used by major companies to train business people in crisis management and communications skills.

Before the simulation, the pupils received professional training in social media, press releases, crisis PR and TV interview techniques.

All girls in the Lower Sixth participated in the event and they were joined by boys from the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe.

The event was designed to develop pupils’ understanding of modern media and make them better consumers of news media. It also developed a number of transferable skills including leadership, teamwork, problem solving and making decisions under time pressure.

The conference is part of the Carrington Award, the school’s Sixth Form enrichment programme.