Eastern Kentucky University Risk Communication Questions In your Module 5 folder, you have 3 articles in the folder marked Additional Readings: Risk Commun

Eastern Kentucky University Risk Communication Questions In your Module 5 folder, you have 3 articles in the folder marked Additional Readings: Risk Communication (files attached). The crux of this body of reading has to do with the vital importance of Risk Communication when it comes to disaster communication. Please read at least three of these articles and highlight significant points in the Discussion Board below. If you are interested, do some further research to build on your readings. In your post, please answer the following: 1. From your reading, what is an example of how psychological distress either WAS mitigated or COULD HAVE been better mitigated via the use of effective risk communication from public officials?2. Name a success of risk communication, if you can locate one, and alternatively, name a failure of effective risk communication (and why it was deemed a failure). 3. What lessons about effective risk communication will you carry forward in your career in emergency management?4. Please note any other lessons that you would want to make sure to share with current and future colleagues On April 19, 1995, an explosion ripped through the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building
in downtown Oklahoma City killing 168. Former Oklahoma Govneror, Frank Keating
(pictured above), helped the city overcome the tragedy through quick response and by
emphazing open and honest dialect with the public. His ability to express emphathy following the horrific incident not only allowed the community to get back on its feet, but also
allowed Keating to connet with the families whose lives had been shattered.
Keating, along with six other leaders detail key emergency risk communication principles
during an event in the face of a major public safety emergency in this book: CERC: by
Leaders for Leaders.
(photos courtesy of David J. Phillips – AP and Paul Whyte – USA Today)
1
Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication: By Leaders for Leaders
Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication:
By Leaders For Leaders
Made possible by:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
In partnership with:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Public Health Practice Program Office
CDC Office of Communication (OC), Office of the Director (OD)
Project Development
William Hall, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (ASPA), HHS
Barbara Reynolds, OC, OC, CDC
Marsha Vanderford, Ph.D., OC, OD, CDC
“The Leaders”
John Agwunobi
Anthrax
Written by:
Barbara Reynolds, MA, OC, OD, CDC
Edited by:
William Hall, ASPA, HHS
Marsha Vanderford, Ph.D., OC, OD, CDC
Marc Wolfson, ASPA, HHS
Project Consultants
Matthew Seeger, Ph.D., Wayne State University
Tim Sellnow, Ph.D., North Dakota State University
Daniel Baden, M.D., OC, OD, CDC
Jeff Bowman
San Diego Fires
Douglas Duncan
D.C. Sniper
Graphic Layout/Research:
Chad R. Wood, OC, CDC
Digital Graphic Design and Development
Pete Seidel, PHPPO, CDC
Alex Casanova, PHPPO, CDC
Audiovisual Production Specialists.
Morris Gaiter ………… Producer
Bryon Skinner ………. Videographer
Todd Jordan ………….. Videographer
Susy Mercado ……….. Production Assistant
Video Clips Coordination
Chad R. Wood
Bindu Tharian
Julie Gerberding
SARS
Frank Keating
OK City Bombing
With special thanks to the following
State and Local Health Department Communication Consultants:
Bob Alvey, Arkansas
Mary Anderson, Montgomery County, MD
Ken August, California
Roxanne Burke, Shasta County, CA
Jamie Durham, Alabama
Kimberly Fetty, West Virginia
Don Pickard, Kansas City, MO
Richard Quartarone, Georgia
Terri Stratton, California
Mary Jo Takach, Rhode Island
Melissa Walker, Louisiana
National Public Health Information Coalition Members
William Reynolds, Atlanta American Red Cross
Susan Dimmick, Ph.D., University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Patricia Owens
ND Floods
Ivan Walks
Anthrax
Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication: By Leaders for Leaders
2
Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication:
By Leaders For Leaders
Introduction:
This book gives leaders the tools to navigate the harsh realities of speaking to the
public, media, partners and stakeholders during an intense public-safety emergency, including terrorism. In a crisis, the right message at the right time is a
“resource multiplier”—it helps response officials get their job done. Many of the
predictable harmful individual and community behaviors can be mitigated with
effective crisis and emergency risk communication. Each crisis will carry its own
psychological baggage. A leader must anticipate what mental stresses the population will be experiencing and apply appropriate communication strategies to
attempt to manage these stresses in the population.
Nowhere in this book is there an implied promise that a population or community faced with an emergency, crisis, or disaster will overcome its challenges solely
through the application of the communication principles presented here. However, this book does offer the promise that an organization can compound its
problems during an emergency if it has neglected sound crisis and emergency risk
communication planning. Readers should expect to gain the following understanding:
Table of Contents
Communicating in a crisis is different ……….. 4
What the public seeks from its leader ……….. 4
Five communication failures …………………… 5
Five communication steps for success ……… 9
During a disaster, what people feel? ……….. 13
Expected behaviors that must be confronted … 15
Perception of risk …………………………………. 18
First message in a crisis ………………………… 20
Audience judgments about your message … 21
Make the facts work in your message ……. 22
Employ the STARCC principle ……………….. 23
Crisis Comunication Plan ……………………… 24
Working with the media ……………………….. 25
Successful press conferences ………………. 29
Writing for the media during a crisis ……….. 30
The Leader as a spokesperson ……………… 31
Grief and your role as spokesperson ………. 37
Know the needs of your stakeholders …….. 38
The Psychology of Communicating in a Crisis
5 communication failures that kill operational success
5 communication steps that boost operational success
How to reduce public fear and anxiety, and come to terms with “panic”
Why people need things to do
5 key elements to build and maintain public trust in a crisis
The dreaded town hall meeting ……………. 40
Media law ………………………………………….. 43
Definitions and processes …………………….. 44
Keeping fit for duty in a crisis …………………. 46
CERC Tools ………………………………………… 48
Bibliography ……………………………………….. 53
Your Role as a Spokesperson
New research on the public’s perception of government
Applying the STARCC principle in your communication
Questions the public and media always ask first
5 mistakes that destroy stakeholder cooperation
How to deal with angry people
Working with Media during a Crisis
Your interview rights with the media
Countering media interview techniques that can hurt you
2 things that guarantee your press conference will fail
3 things to say early in the crisis when the media are beating on your door
Public Health and Media Law
The media’s right of publication
Employee access to media
Legal definitions of detention, isolation and quarantine
Included in this book are excerpts from interviews so that you can hear directly
from leaders—governors, mayors, health officials, and fire chiefs—who stepped
up to the microphone during crises and faced their community and the world.
Learn how they made tough decisions about how to inform, console and motivate their constituents during and after the crisis.
3
Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication: By Leaders for Leaders
The need to communicate
clearly was never more
compelling than during the
recovery from the World
Trade Center attacks.
People were desperate for
information. The information
had to be correct, but there
were delicate questions of
taste and sensitivity as well.
-Rudolph Giuliani
We talked about the anthrax
attack because two members of our community had
died. That’s not a scare when
you actually kill someone. It’s
an attack, and that sort of
language nuance builds a
level of connection with the
community so you’re viewing
the incident the same way
they’re viewing the incident.
-Ivan W
alks
.D
., Health
Walks
alks,, M
M.D
.D.,
Director, Washington D.C., Anthrax,
2001
Communicating in a Crisis is Different
Crises can assault your community in an instant or creep slowly into your
midst randomly wreaking havoc until it has you firmly in its grip. Conventional explosions, category-5 hurricanes, chemical releases, shooting sprees,
deadly disease outbreaks, 500-year floods, dirty bombs, nuclear bombs,
fertilizer bombs, earthquakes, blazing brush fires, infrastructure collapses,
and raging tornadoes are just some of the disasters we know threaten
somewhere at sometime and are, ultimately, outside our control.
Leaders do control, however, how well their communities respond and
recover from the disasters they suffer. As a leader in a crisis you can have a
real, measurable affect on the wellbeing of your community through the
words you say and the speed and sincerity with which you say them. Research indicates that, in natural disasters, the public perceives the success of
the operational response by the amount and speed of relevant information
they receive from the emergency response officials (Fisher, 1998).
Communicating in a crisis is different. In a serious crisis, all affected
people take in information differently, process information differently and act on information differently (Reynolds, 2002). As a leader,
you need to know that the way you normally communicate with your
community may not be effective during and after it suffers a crisis.
In a catastrophic event, your every word, every eye twitch and every passing
emotion resonates with heightened importance to a public desperate for
information to help them be safe and recover from the crisis. In several
surveys, the public was asked who they would trust most as a spokesman or reliable source of information if a bioterrorism event occurred
in their community. Respondents trusted most the local health department
or a local physician or hospital. However, respondents also trusted “quite a
lot” or “a great deal” their own doctor, the fire chief, the director of the
health department, the police chief, the governor and a local religious
leader.
What the public seeks from its leaders in a crisis
The public wants to know what you know. The leader’s challenge is to give
the public what they are demanding within the fog of information overload. The public wants to accomplish the following 5 things with the
information they get from their leaders:
Gain the wanted facts needed to protect them, their families and their
pets from the dangers they are facing
Make well-informed decisions using all available information
Have an active, participatory role in the response and recovery
Act as a “watch-guard” over resources, both public and donated monies
Recover or preserve well-being and normalcy, including economic security
Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication: By Leaders for Leaders
4
That’s a lot to expect from a leader “hell-bent” on making sure his community is going to get all it needs to make the crisis end and the community well again. Leaders who have faced a crisis in their community readily
admit that in their planning for a crisis they may have invested only about
one percent of the pre-crisis funding to public communication planning
and then training about 10 percent of their time in drills or exercises on
the public education component. They then found that when the crisis
occurred they were spending about 90 percent of their time dealing with
decisions about communicating to the public.
Leaders lead with goals in mind
A leader who wants to do the following will need to have a community on
board to help them accomplish these goals:
Decrease illness, injury and deaths
Execute response and recovery plans with minimal resistance
Avoid misallocation of limited resources
Avoid wasting resources
The fact is, in a crisis, good communication to the public is a necessity, not
a luxury. The public needs information from its leaders and leaders need
support and cooperation from the public.
Leaders will make the following communication decisions
The following are the decisions a leader will be expected to make during a
crisis about communicating to the public:
What to release
When to release it
How to release it
Where to release it
Whom to release it to
Why release it
A well-prepared leader will have communication plans and resources in
place to help minimize the number of decisions about communication that
must be made in the moment. We can predict both the types of disasters
our communities face and we can predict the questions the public will have
during a disaster. Plan now. Plan with your communication and public
information professionals. Plan with your disaster-response partners.
Five communication failures that kill operational
success
Communication experts and leaders who’ve faced disasters can tell others
what is going to cripple or even destroy the success of their disaster
response operation.
5
Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication: By Leaders for Leaders
This [fireman] was on the
verge of emotional exhaustion. I mean he had seen a
horror, he didn’t know what to
do. There was no living person in that building that he
was able to save. So I knew
that my function had to be
one of reassurance to those
who were risking their lives to
help us.
eating
-F
Keating
eating, Governor, OklaFrank K
homa City, Bombing, 1995
Mixed messages from multiple experts
Information released late
Paternalistic attitudes
Not countering rumors and myths in real time
Public power struggles and confusion
1. Mixed messages
The public doesn’t want to have to “select” one of many messages to
believe and act on. During the mid-90s the Midwestern United States
suffered a spring of great floods. Response officials determined that the
water treatment facilities in some communities were compromised and that
a “boil water” directive should be issued. The problem developed when
multiple response organizations, government and non-government, issued
directions for boiling water and each of them was different. The fact is, in
the United States, we turn on the faucet and clean water comes out. Few
of us know the “recipe” to boil water because we’ve never had to.
I think the most important
thing to learn from this or any
other tragedy that is handled
well in the public domain is
that unlike the frustration we
feel sometimes on an airplane when something goes
crack or the plane doesn’t
leave and there’s total silence
from the cockpit, that’s the
worst thing to do. The best
thing is transparency and
openness.
Frank K
eating
-F
Keating
eating, Governor,
Oklahoma City, Bombing, 1995
So, what’s the big
; Reality check: Unofficial experts will undoubtdeal? Just pick one
edly pop up to offer unsolicited advice. First, be
and get to it. Not so
concerned about what the “official” officials are
fast! Consider this.
saying and whether these messages are consistent. Your cumulative, consistent voices may
I’m a young mother
drown out conflicting messages. Also, consider
with an infant son and
identifying the unofficial experts in your commuI need to mix his
nity and ensure they have early access to the
cereal with water. I’m
recommendations you will be giving.
a middle-aged son
caring for his mother
who is currently immune compromised because of cancer chemotherapy.
I’m the sister living down the street from my HIV-positive brother whose
T-cell count is back on the way down. Or, just maybe, I’m an average
person who doesn’t like the thought of gambling on a bad case of diarrhea
if I don’t pick the right boil-water instructions.
In a crisis, people don’t want to “just pick one” of many messages,
they want the best one or the right one to follow. When faced with a
new threat, people want a consistent and simple recommendation to follow.
They want to hear absolute agreement about what they should do from
multiple experts through multiple sources. Messages do not have to be
wrong to be damaging. If they are inconsistent the public will lose trust in
the response officials and begin to question every recommendation. Local,
state, regional, and national response officials and their partners must work
together to ensure messages are consistent, especially when the information
is new to the public.
2. Information released late
Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, many people wanted
Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication: By Leaders for Leaders
6
advice on whether or not to buy a gas mask. These calls found their way
to CDC. Three weeks after the attack, CDC had an answer on its website.
During the 3 weeks CDC took to develop and vet its answer, a number of
experts were willing to give an answer—unfortunately it wasn’t the right
one. When CDC issued advice to the public not to buy gas masks, the
“gas-mask” aisles at the local Army-Navy Surplus stores were already
empty. In all fairness, few of us could anticipate the consequences of a 911 type attack— but all of us can now create a process to quickly react to
the information needs of the public. If we can not give people what they
need when they need it, others will. And those “others” may not have the
best interest of the public in mind when they’re offering advice.
If the public expects an answer from your organization on something that
is answerable and you won’t provide it or direct them to someone who
can, they will be open to being taken advantage of by unscrupulous
or fraudulent opportunists.
3. Paternalistic attitudes
Putting on a John Wayne swagger and ostensibly answering the public’s
concerns with a “don’t worry little lady, we got ya covered” doesn’t work
in the information age. People want and expect information to allow them
; Reality check
check: Don’t spread a rumor by holding press conferences
every time you hear a rumor, unless it has been widely published already.
If the rumor is circulating on the Internet, have a response on the internet
and with your telephone information service ready to deal with the rumor.
The media will report rumors or hoaxes unless you can answer quickly
why it’s false. Have an open, quick channel to communicate to the
media if your monitoring system picks up a troublesome rumor. Don’t think
“this is preposterous, no one will believe it.” In a crisis the improbable
seems more possible. Squash rumors fast, with facts.
to come to their own conclusion. As a leader, it’s not enough to satisfy
your own worries with copious bits of information and then turn around
and state a bottomline unsupported with the facts you know. As difficult
as it may be, help the public to reach the same conclusion you did by
sharing with them what you learned to reach that conclusion. What did
you learn that made you believe the situation wasn’t worrisome? Share
that.
Treat the public like intelligent adults and they will act like intelligent
adults. Treat them any other way and they will either turn on you or
behave in ways that seem illogical to you. You are a leader for the public,
you are not their parent. Never tell people “don’t worry.” Tell people
what they need to know so they can reach the decision that they do not
need to worry. Engage the public in the process and they will follow your
lead.
7
Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication: By Leaders for Leaders
I think that there is always a
tendency for individuals to try
to take out the bad parts and
leave in only the good parts.
I think it’s absolutely critical as
a leader to deliver an honest
message, a message that
contains all the parts, the
good and the bad.
.D
-John
Agwunobi,, M
M.D
.D.., State Health
John Agwunobi
Director, Florida, Anthrax, 2001
It was everyday for three
weeks. Everyday people got
up and said this might be the
day I get killed. When I walk
out of my house, when I walk
out to my car, when I pump
gas, when I go into my store
or office building, this is the
day someone might shoot
me.
Douglas Duncan
-Douglas
Duncan, County
Executive, Montgomery County,
Maryland, D.C. Sniper Attacks, 2002
4. Not countering rumors in real-time
During a pneumonic plague outbreak, how successful will your drug
distribution program be if a rumor starts that there isn’t enough drugs for
everyone? What is your system to monitor what is being said by the public
and the media? What is your system to react to false information?
5. Public power struggles or confusion
Did you hear about the governor who held a press conference about a
public safety crisis at the same time the mayor of t…
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