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


• #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.