Communicating Your Message Through a Diverse Media
THE PROBLEM IS YOU ARE NOT THE PRESENTER! You can remove ambiguities, help prevent confusion and limit speculation by providing accurate, timely and specific information. To say nothing is to allow media to race out of control feeding upon itself in the process!
THE PROBLEM IS YOU ARE NOT THE PRESENTER! Accurate relay of your forecast depends on the skill of the TV/radio presenter! You cannot know why, select who or prevent anyone from being on TV disseminating your message!
YOU CANT PICK WHO MEDIA INTERVIEWS! Perhaps its the guy making landfall forecasts 3 months in advance! Or the reporter who has never seen 40 mph winds, reporting live in the hurricane! Perhaps its the stations damage expert, basing assessment on a poorly built home!
YOU CAN NOT PICK WHO MEDIA INTERVIEWS! TV station interviews college kids before the hurricane; they provide exactly the wrong message! TV reports live from the only damaged home in all of Miami. Yes media looks for and finds the worst to report.
STEVES 3 STEPS TO SUCCESS 1) KEEP IT SIMPLE & RELEVANT 2) TAILOR YOUR MESSAGE FOR MEDIA 3) IF YOU DONT SAY IT MEDIA WILL
Simple & Relevant Questions Customers Ask Where is landfall (closest approach) Where is landfall (closest approach) How strong at landfall How strong at landfall When is landfall When is landfall Who will get impacts (size matters) Who will get impacts (size matters) IF YOU DONT ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS, MEDIA WILL TRY TO ANSWER THEM FOR YOU!
Simple & Relevant Did you know that most people dont have a clue what a millibar is? The Weather Channel surveys indicate viewers dont know how to interpret a radar loop Did you know that most people routinely mix up watches and warnings? Both start with W
Simple & Relevant The public has little understanding of large quantitative meteorological forecasts…150 mph wind, 4 inch per hour rain rate, 30 foot waves, etc. Winds will down trees, blow out windows, damage roofs, destroy mobile homes, cause widespread power outages…. Tremendous rainfall will cause widespread flash flooding… Giant and deadly waves will be accompanied by deadly rip currents, cause major beach erosion and result in coastal flooding…
Simple & Relevant Media most of the time takes your forecast graphics literally and embellishes details. Sam, we are likely to see a 300 mile swath of Mexicos coast hammered by hurricane and tropical storm winds the next 12-24 hours!
Simple & Relevant Lorenzo Watches & Warnings Superimposed On Gulf Coast
Simple and Relevant TECHNICAL APPROACH: Latest RECON has found a minimum surface pressure of 950 millibars from a dropsonde observation in Zsa Zsas eye at 19:30 UTC, based on this and aircraft SFMR wind measurements, Zsa Zsa is upgraded to major hurricane PRACTICAL APPROACH: Latest observations find Zsa Zsas winds are 115 mph, up from 110 mph earlier. Now a Category 3 on the Saffir/Simpson Scale, wind damage potential has risen very slightly from earlier; Zsa Zsa continues to be a serious threat to south Florida
A Diverse Media TV, Satellite, Internet, Radio, & Cell Phone; an identical message probably wont work the same on each Presenters can cause misinterpretation and mistakes, but so can a graphic! Message timeliness is critical, no news is good news and bad news! WHEN IN DOUBT PUT THAT SPECIAL OUT
A Diverse Media…Internet Based on this guy home alone on his PC; he thinks odds of getting tropical storm winds in Cape Hatteras are lower than they are in Raleigh, in Norfolk, in Atlantic City, in New Haven and in Providence but similar to New York City.
Tracks Parallel To A Coast Can Cause Media to Go Wild Yes Dan, based on the current forecast track it is very possible Gabrielle will rake the entire east and northeast seaboard from Myrtle Beach to Maine. Tropical storm force winds, heavy rains and high surf are possibly as far south as Hilton Head South Carolina!
If You Dont Say It Media Will Infer It No news means media fills time with their interpretation of latest news If you dont request actions, media will infer what actions could/should/might be taken If you give ranges, expect the media to quote the highest values
If You Dont Say It Media Will Infer It NHC/NWS: New Orleans Forecast- Afternoon: Winds SE 45 to 60 mph with gusts to 75mph possible Media: Barbara, its very possible New Orleans will see damaging hurricane force winds by afternoon!
If You Dont Say It Media Will Infer It NHC: Hurricane Rita is now a powerful category 5 hurricane, winds are 170 mph with a heading toward the TX/LA coastline, some weakening is anticipated. MEDIA: Bob, I was talking with NWS forecasters… IF Rita holds this intensity 36 more hours, we will see a 35 to 40 foot surge in the Houston- Galveston area, this would be a catastrophe!
If You Dont Say It Media Will Infer It NOAA: Our season outlook calls for 13 to 17 named storms… MEDIA: Joan, NOAAs latest season forecast calls for as many as 17 storms, thats nearly twice as high as average. It looks like we are in for a biggggg season!
If You Dont Say It Media Will Infer It Think about the greater Houston Texas area as hurricane Rita threatened. The colored areas include ~ 750,000 people.
Houston Traffic In Ritas Mass Evacuation…an estimated 3 million in Texas
Evacuations and Media Those responsible for evacuations… You have to tell them DO NOT GO if you dont want them to go! Bill, according to EM officials only those in Galveston County are under a mandatory evacuation order at this time. Residents of Harris County are NOT, only special needs blah, blah, blah
Simple and Relevant? Tropical vs Subtropical vs Extratropical Tropical vs Subtropical vs Extratropical When- When- satellite shows no difference… satellite shows no difference… winds show little difference… winds show little difference… media cant explain a difference… media cant explain a difference… U.S. impacts are far worse… U.S. impacts are far worse… but the phase diagram indicates… but the phase diagram indicates…
Subtropical Storm Olga and Remnant of Noel Same Scale
Simple and Relevant? Nothing left and TS Chantal right same scale
Summary 1) You cannot control media. Sway their behavior through relevant, clear, and simple forecasts, watches, and warnings knowing they will HYPE! 2) Media should be a HUGE asset to your mission of protection of life and property; the megaphone days are long gone! 3) Alienate media and it will alienate you, work with it through PARTNERSHIP and everyone should benefit! NWS Acronym- HHP
(tested to 200 mph) Before After Hurricane Resistant Home Charlie 2004- Douglas Rd (tested to 200 mph) Before After Home Front Inc.- built for the Charlotte Homeless Coalition Home Front Inc.- built for the Charlotte Homeless Coalition
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