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Crisis and emergency risk communication guide

Crisis communication is a team effort. It is essential to identify a communication team prior to an emergency. The team should be compromised of individuals from various organizations to ensure your crisis plan is a comprehensive document.

Your crisis communication team, the key responders during a crisis, can be broken down into six roles. Optimally, there will be at least one person assigned to each role. In a large scale crisis, you might want to go outside your own office, to bring in support from a nearby university or college, volunteers, or outside contractors. In a smaller, localized emergency, you might be able to fulfill all of these roles with just one or two staff members. Regardless of available staffing, these position functions will need to be performed during as major emergency.

  1. The Public Information Officer (Command Staff) Activates the Risk Communication Plan and directs the work related to the release of information.
  2. Content and Messages Coordinator Develops mechanisms to rapidly receive information from the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) regarding the public health emergency and works with subject matter experts to create situation- specific fact sheets, Q&A fact sheets and updates.
  3. Media Coordinator Assesses media needs and organizes mechanisms to fulfill those needs.
  4. Direct Public Outreach Coordinator Activates the telephone information line and crisis web site and develops public service announcements.
  5. Partner/ Stakeholder Coordinator Establishes communication protocols based on prearranged agreements with identified partners and stakeholders.
  6. Rumor Control Coordinator Monitors internal and external communications, identifies misinformation, provides feedback on the quality of communication, and takes action to correct false information. This may involve revising your key messages.
Last revised: Sunday July 29 2012