Whenever one of your audiences perceives that they may be losing something, you’re in a Risk Communication situation. Emotions run high and things happen quickly.
Pre-planning beforehand can make all the difference (and save you a lot of stress).
1) Quick Start Guide
Knowing what needs to be done first is essential. Create a 1-page document the lists your priority questions, audience message sequence (who gets the message when), key phone numbers, & press release templates for your most likely scenarios (ex: mass casualty and severe weather).
2) Go Bag – a Self-Contained Office
This is great for fast responses. It’s also great for the times your Command Center or Joint Information Center doesn’t have spacious accommodations. Here are some items to pack:
- Quick-start guide (see #1)
- Contacts list (internal & colleagues)
- CD/thumb drive with electronic copies of files you’ll need (ex: press release templates)
- Media release forms (for photos, etc.)
- Tips for media interviews
3) PR Guidance Document
Include sections for situation background, timeline of events as they unfold, key messages, and Q&A (anticipate reporters’ questions and craft your answers ahead of time)