The EDEN Exercise Committee designed and conducted three in-box exercises to test he ability of EDEN and Extension to distribute urgent messages to their audiences using a range of communications tools.
Pilot “in-box exercises” were conducted in 2012 and 2013 with a total of seven states participating:
- June 18, 2012: in Indiana, North Carolina, Mississippi and Washington
- June 24, 2013: in Alabama, North Dakota, and Illinois
The exercise included advance messaging with state Extension points of contact, to familiarize them with the nature of the exercise and their duties in passing the test message forward. End recipients of the message were directed to an online date-capture where they recorded when and how they had received the test message and indicated their ability to distribute it. End users recorded their confidence in using phone tree, email listserv or distribution list, flyer or mass-mailing, commercial radio, public service TV, website, and social media. They also estimated the size of the audience they would reach using each of these methods.
Based on the success of the 2012 and 2013 pilots, the EDEN Exercise conducted the same exercise, opeining it up to all the member institutions in the EDEN network. The third exercise was conducted on May 29th, 2014, led by Mike Gaffney, POC from Washington State University and Ben Doran a WSU graduate student. The exercise was considered a huge success with 320 responses representing 30 states.
Information about the structure, content, outcomes and lessons learned from these exercises is available from the EDEN Exercise Committee.