Crucial to the success of emergency response is the skill and professionalism with which emergency managers communicate vital information to the public, both directly and through the media. In a major disaster, the spotlight of national and even international media attention can suddenly shine on agencies that until then had no budget for sophisticated communications strategies or public relations professionals. Securing public confidence in a government or private sector response to crises is entirely dependent upon how emergency managers are perceived through the prism of communication and the media.
All-Hands Consulting can prepare you. With our expertise, you can get answers to question such as:
- How can I immediately disseminate to the public reliable information about such things as small pox, hazardous chemicals, emergency shelters and escape routes?
- How can I minimize problems associated with the massive influx of unsolicited volunteers and donations that is typical in major disasters?
- How can I handle an overwhelming volume of news media inquiries without having embarrassing or incorrect information or quotes broadcast worldwide?
- What tough questions do reporters typically ask in emergencies and how will I answer them?
- How can I showcase my governor, mayor or county executive so that his or her handling of emergencies earns public admiration?
- How can I use the Internet and other new technologies to get my messages out where they need to go?
- How can I be sure that other opinion leaders – including legislators, sheriffs, mayors and others – are fully informed and supportive of our efforts?
- Are my presentation style and interviews skills as good as they could be?
We can help you establish a communications plan utilizing best practices and standards outlined by FEMA, NFPA 1600 (emergency management standard) and private crisis communications counselors. Our consultation encompasses both immediate communications in a crisis, preventive strategies, and long-term relationship-building with the news media and others. Our consultants’ combined experience with emergency management, media relations and legislative affairs makes it possible to build an integrated communications strategy mindful to all key audiences.