Ruder Finn Asia Launches SONAR 5.5 AI-Powered Crisis Simulation Platform


Ruder Finn Asia (, the award-winning communications consultancy, today launched the latest version of its SONAR crisis management simulation platform. SONAR 5.5 allows corporations to practise their level of crisis preparedness in the face of evolving risks to share price, revenues and reputation. Multi-lingual, SONAR 5.5 can be operated in multiple languages including English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese. The platform also incorporates new interactive features which identify potential areas for future concern allowing for pre-emptive strategy and planning.

When faced with a full-scale issue or crisis, management teams often discover the planning they have in place fails under pressure. SONAR 5.5 is fast, effective and action-oriented, designed to identify planning gaps and propose practical, workable, real-world solutions.

With close to 100% client satisfaction rates, SONAR 5.5 creates an immersive crisis environment allowing participants to experience every aspect of a fast-evolving crisis. The versatile multimedia portal is internet-enabled: SONAR 5.5 simulations can be run for a single market or global teams of up to 100 people allowing corporations to see where their crisis planning works and where gaps exist.

SONAR 5.5 replicates every aspect of a crisis situation: negative media reports, share price impact, stakeholder anger and employee protest. The platform is immersive meaning participants quickly forget that SONAR is a simulation due to the reality of the created environment. The output of every SONAR is a more experienced team, upgraded risk planning, greater vigilance and preparedness for the future.

Ruder Finn Asia has identified the key operational implications of being unprepared for a crisis or issue as a disorganised response, scattered decision making, absence of strategy and no sense of mission. This translates to loss of narrative, loss of control and loss of value. Ruder Finn Asia’s experience has also identified the hallmarks of companies who emerge well from a crisis: preparation, leadership, action and communication.

Charles Lankester, EVP, Global Risk at Ruder Finn Asia said today, “Together, we build resilience and ensure our clients act with confidence whatever the circumstances. We have delivered close to 150 SONARs since 2020 and consistently hear how much clients value the experience and learning. The SONAR team are career experts in reputation and risk management, ensuring our clients stay ahead of situations wherever possible. Reputation is a primary global business risk, but most companies are unprepared and under-resourced in the event of an issue. We are the risk management partner of choice for hundreds of corporations and bring experience across Hong Kong, Mainland China, Asia-Pacific and globally.”

David Ko, Managing Director at Ruder Finn Interactive (RFI), Ruder Finn’s digital consultancy, said today, SONAR 5.5 is the result of years of crisis management expertise and learning, distilled into an actionable, high value platform, updated for the AI era. The crisis landscape now evolves at an ever-faster pace, so we continually upgrade SONAR to reflect this new environment. New threats such as deepfakes, voice cloning and bots now require crisis management with technology that meets the challenge.

Previously, we embedded generative AI into SONAR’s operation, harnessing the power of ChatGPT to create multimedia injects that simulate interactions with key stakeholders such as government regulators, activist shareholders, protesting employees and consumer groups. SONAR 5.5 now streamlines and presents additional interactions visually so that participants can easily track and manage their crisis decisions and actions. The core of SONAR’s value, however, remains the expert guidance and coaching conducted by trainers and their real-time feedback on client team dynamics and effectiveness. This work also incorporates a significant predictive component, identifying potential areas for future concern and pre-emptive strategy and planning.”

Atul Sharma, CEO Ruder Finn India and Head, Middle East said, “In today’s dynamic business landscape, proactive crisis preparedness is key to protecting your company’s image and strength. Leveraging cutting-edge AI capabilities, SONAR 5.5 isn’t just a tool—it’s our way of giving businesses the power to steer through stormy seas. With its innovative features and user-friendly interface, SONAR 5.5 equips teams with the foresight and confidence needed to face challenges head-on.”

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