Are you prepared and ready?

Integrating a mass notification system into your plan. ▫ Questions and answers .... What is the best way to send it to you when it's complete?” ▫ There is no such ...
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Are you prepared and ready? Crisis Communication Planning for Local Governments

Agenda  Introduction to CivicPlus® and presenters  Overview of the elements of a crisis communication plan  The first 48 hours  Tips for dealing with the media  Utilizing social media during a crisis  Integrating a mass notification system into your plan  Questions and answers

Meet the Presenters

Jennifer Elliott CivicReady® Product Marketing Manager

Ryan Strait CivicReady® Product Manager

ALL ABOUT US

• #1 Provider of government websites • 2,500+ clients • 55,000+ users • 60,000,000+ citizens • Dedicated to local government • GovTech 100 • Inc. 5000 since 2011

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Communicating During a Crisis It is the ability to communicate and disseminate critical information in real-time to all involved that will lead to a safe outcome in a crisis situation.

Planning for a Crisis It’s not IF, but WHEN.  Weather and natural disasters - heat, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, etc.  Human-sourced violence - active shooters, bombs, riots, etc.  Health - outbreaks, food safety, chemicals, etc.  Public services - roads, power outages, water supply, etc.

A Crisis Communication Plan - 3 P’s Planning  The plan should be:     

A go-to place for must have information Not a step-by-step, but an outline of procedures for various scenarios Dynamic Brief and relevant Accessible

Process  Who will you tell?  How will you tell it?  Who will tell it?

Preparation  Practice

Elements of a Crisis Communication Plan  Establish a crisis communication team and roles    

Designate spokesperson Designate an incident communications director Communications support personnel Include legal counsel

 Plan for working with other departments and local agencies

 Secure location for communications command center, and develop a strategy for internal communications between team members and agencies  Have back-up locations and systems in case of power outages, damage, etc.

 Maintain up-to-date contact information for team members  Maintain up-to-date list of media contacts

Elements of a Crisis Communication Plan  Identify your key audiences and establish communication channels  Anticipate crisis scenarios  List by feasible type of weather/natural disaster related crisis to your region  Consider types of other risks in your region

 Develop action plans for your crisis scenarios    

Include a timeline for response Channels of dissemination Information verification and release procedures Outline other agencies involved

 Compile crisis resources

The First 48 Hours - 3 C’s  Coordination  Communication  Cooperation

The First 48 Hours

The First 48 Hours  Crisis Communication 101  Put the public first  Take responsibility for solving the problem  Be honest  Monitor news coverage  Provide constant flow of information  Communicate with key audiences  Be accessible

Tips for Dealing with the Media  What the public wants to know  Are my family and I safe?  How will this affect me?  What can I do to protect myself and family members?  Who caused this?  Can you fix it?

Tips for Dealing with the Media  What the media wants to know:  What happened?  Who is in charge?  Has this been contained?  Are victims being helped?  What can we expect?  What should public do?  Why did this happen?  Did you have forewarning?  Who is at fault?

Tips for Dealing with the Media Deliver information inverted pyramid style with high importance information first. Answer and pivot. “…but what’s important is {insert talking point}.” Never use jargon that confuses the public and media. If you don’t know the answer, say so. Tell them you will get back with them with an answer. Never show anger or become defensive. Never attack the questioner. Do not nod automatically when answering a critical or accusatory question. It signifies agreement. Do not repeat negative information/question when giving your answers. Always respond to the question that you are asked, then transition back to key message points. “The key thing to remember is…” or “I can’t speculate on that but what I can tell you is…”  Limit number of people speaking directly to the media, especially during press conference.         

Tips for Dealing with the Media  Never Say “No Comment”  Alternatives  “We’ve just learned about this and are gathering more information.  “I’m not the authority on this. I will have XX call you back right away.”  “We’re preparing a statement on that now. What is the best way to send it to you when it’s complete?”

 There is no such thing as off the record

Tips for Dealing with the Media Example of media release: This is an evolving emergency and I know that, just like we do, you want as much information as possible right now. While we work to get your questions answered as quickly as possible, I want to tell you what we can confirm right now: At approximately, _________ (time), a (brief description of what happened)_______________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________. At this point, we do not know the number of (persons ill, persons exposed, injuries, deaths, etc.). We have a system (plan, procedure, operation) in place for just such an emergency and we are being assisted by (police, fire, FBI, FEMA, etc.) as part of that plan. The situation is (contained) (not yet contained), and we are working with (local, state, federal) authorities to (contain, determine how this happened, determine what actions may be needed, determine who, etc.). We will continue to gather information and release it to you as soon as possible. I will be back to you within (amount of time, e.g., 2 hours) to give you an update. As soon as we have more confirmed information, it will be provided. We ask for your patience as we respond to this emergency.

Using Social Media During a Crisis

Using Social Media During a Crisis  Only 20% of organizations include social media channels in crisis communication plans to both communicate and gather information.  71% of online adults use Facebook and 23% use Twitter.  25% of Twitter’s verified users are journalists.  59% of journalists are on Twitter.

Using Social Media During a Crisis  How will you implement social media in your emergency communication plan?  Do you already utilize social media in day-to-day communications?  Have you established connections with people, groups, local and national organizations to share information and help spread your communications?

Facebook Tips  Have your Facebook page (website, twitter, etc.) be the “hub” of the issue.  Monitor during incident for real time updates from witnesses.  Monitor during and after incident to answer questions, not sentiment.  Leave comments on.  Use judgement in response.

Twitter Tips

Twitter Tips  Tweet information that is relevant, timely and useful.  Keep details short and easy to spell.  Avoid overusing hashtags. No more than two per tweet.  Choose a hashtag that’s incident-related. For example: #AcmeOilSpill  Capitalize each word in a multi-word hashtag. For example: #DetroitWaterMainLeak  Remember that punctuation can’t be used in a hashtag. #Detroit’s Water Main Leak. Instead, use #DetroitWaterMainLeak

Integrating a Mass Notification Solution  What is a mass notification solution and how can your organization implement one?  How does a mass notification solution work during an emergency?

What to Look for in a Mass Notification Solution  Subscription-based, multi-channel communication tool  Integrated Public Alert Warning System (IPAWS) integration  Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) mapping capabilities  One-click messaging

What to Look for in a Mass Notification Solution  Subscription-based, multi-channel communication tool

What to Look for in a Mass Notification Solution  IPAWS integration

What to Look for in a Mass Notification Solution  ESRI mapping capabilities

What to Look for in a Mass Notification Solution  One-click messaging

A quick look at CivicReady

Q&A Jennifer Elliott [email protected] 888-228-2233 x347 civicready.com

Ryan Strait [email protected] 785.323.1567 civicready.com