MIAMI—Whether you are working for General Motors of the National Football League, Malaysia Airlines or the Susan G Komen Foundation, sooner or later every public relations professional will be forced to confront a crisis—and you'd better be prepared. That’s why this year’s Global Public Relations Summit will be featuring—for the first time—a social media crisis simulation that’s the closest you can come to the real thing without blowing something up.

The half-day session is presented in partnership with Polpeo, a UK firm that uses a combination of proprietary software and a team of specialist social media and crisis experts to create immersive role-play simulations, designed to train teams in how to respond to a real-world crisis.

The half-day session will take place on the morning of Thursday October 30, the fourth and final day of the Summit. Participants—who should be senior and mid-level professionals—will divided into teams of up to 10 and asked to respond in real-time to a series of dynamic challenges based on a fictional (but realistic) crisis scenario,

Polpeo’s proprietary simulation software simulates social media channels—microblogs, social networks, news channels, video networks, blogs and forums—while a team of experienced community and social media managers play the role of the angry public, responding to everything your team is doing to manage the unfolding crisis.

The session will be led by Polpeo chief executive Tamara Littleton, a veteran of the BBC’s online communications team and Liberty Media, and Kate Hartley, also managing director of digital PR firm Carrot Communications. They will joined by judges drawn from leading PR agencies and corporate communications departments, who will evaluate each team’s performance and select a winner once the simulation has run its course.

The session is free to anyone who attends the full Global Public Relations Summit. It is also available as a stand-alone registration ($200) and is available at a 50 percent discount ($100) to those attending either the Independent PR Firm Forum or the SABRE Awards dinner. Registration for the crisis simulation will open later this week.