Public Disaster Communications
Analysis of the distribution of public disasters in the severity of the consequences shows that it is described by a truncated monotonically decreasing probability density function, in accordance with the predominantly emergency with minor consequences.
According to experts, the basic principle of public disaster communications is not to gloss over the event, and to do all the talk as soon as possible. The logic of communication is subject to the general principle of openness. Bad news does not get better with time. Not telling anything only complicates the problem further.
The rapid flow of information stops the passage of the rumors that will not have to fight that otherwise would be another program PR. However, in the early stages of a crisis should not say things you do not know or that you are not sure, should not be included in guessing, since you can not be right.
Some aspects are similar to Homeland Security.
American experts suggest considering the following under a public disaster situation:
- The phrase “no comment” only reinforces the hostile or overreacted reception of news;
- You need to know about the issuance of television news and newspapers in order to not collect a press conference or briefing, when this term is left behind;
- Need to meet with reporters in advance, it will help you learn about the technology in their work and they will know about you and your company.
Thus, the specialist of public disaster communications will have to learn how to do all the tasks in this list efficiently:
1) Assign a person who believes that journalists and able to act on behalf of the campaign. Well, if it turns out to be one person for the entire organization so that she spoke as if with one voice. A good candidate for this position would be a specialist having one of Doctorate Degrees in Public Safety;
2) Compile the list of “hot” issues. This should also include “hot” questions from journalists and answers. This list is intended only for internal use and is not subject to the outside audience.
3) Make a prepared weighted statement. If the process of communication during the crisis is postponed, then control of events is lost. News first release should contain at least the answers to the questions of “When and what had happened?”, “What was the supposed cause?,” and “Who is in charge of dealing with the problem?” Speaker of the company must have a prepared statements for external audiences.
4) Create an information center, where reporters will be able to receive updated information and work with their data. These centers should be equipped with all necessary means of communication. Journalists should be able to if you want to get food and transport;
5) Provide a constant flow of information, even in situations where there is no change or they are negative. Increase confidence in the company, if it will also provide journalists with news and bad news;
6) At the press conference must be the first person. Their absence makes a bad impression. The role of the speaker requires special attention because of its appearance, voice, manner of speaking, will affect the audience;
7) Be available, allowing for calls outside office hours, your cell phone number;
8 ) Capture the contents of calls, so you know what the questions are of most journalists;
9) If you do not have the right to provide information, explain this.
Knowing how to perform aforementioned tasks will help you make a successful public disaster communications career.
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