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0 TFG Event: Ten Best Practices for Communication & Continuity During Mega-Disasters May 10, 2012, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. BAH – Wash., D.C. Co-Sponsored by Booz.

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Presentation on theme: "0 TFG Event: Ten Best Practices for Communication & Continuity During Mega-Disasters May 10, 2012, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. BAH – Wash., D.C. Co-Sponsored by Booz."— Presentation transcript:

1 0 TFG Event: Ten Best Practices for Communication & Continuity During Mega-Disasters May 10, 2012, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. BAH – Wash., D.C. Co-Sponsored by Booz Allen’s Mission Assurance & Strategic Communications TFGs

2 1 Our 60-Minute Roadmap 10 Best Practices - Principles (Core Concepts) - Premium (Value/Importance) - Practice (Implementation) Case Examples, Tools & Resources Threat-Specific Simulation

3 2 The 10 Best Practices 1.Simplify the Complex & Make the Unfamiliar Familiar 2.Understand the Public’s Perception of Risk 3.Be Proactive and Harness the Power of Visuals 4.Anticipate, Respond to What Reporters Want to Know 5.Understand What Frustrates Reporters 6. Practice the Do’s & Don’ts of Media Relations 7. Use the Three-Phase Method 8. Understand Loss as a Communications Lever 9. Optimize the Informational and Motivational 10. Make it Emotional, Simple and Personal

4 3 Crisis Defined A time of intense difficulty or danger A time when a difficult or important decision must be made The turning point of an event when an important change takes place, indicating either recovery or loss

5 4 10 Best Practices for Communication Continuity, During Mega-Disasters BP#1 -- Simplify the Complex and Make the Unfamiliar Familiar Question: What is a Gusset Plate?  Sept. 2007, 13 died & 145 were injured when the I- 35 W Bridge collapsed in Minnesota  NTSB determined a design flaw in a gusset plate caused the deadly collapse  Minnesota DOT had to explain the cause in ways that were easily understood and prevented widespread panic – 13,000 Bridges in the state

6 5 10 Best Practices for Communication Continuity, During Mega-Disasters BP #1 – Simplify the Complex and Make the Unfamiliar Familiar How could the MN DOT have accomplished this?  By avoiding the use of technical jargon  By explaining or defining in familiar terms the information citizens most needed to know and most wanted to know  Answer: a gusset plate is a large, flat piece of steel, placed over and bolted to, the ends of two or more bridge beams, connecting them to each other and/or to the bridge frame

7 6 10 Best Practices for Communication Continuity, During Mega-Disasters BP #2 – Understand the Public’s Perceptions of Risk  Recognize that the public is already stressed.  Monitor and address escalating fears and concerns  Do not make extreme comments or language  Be factual and empathic when explaining complex risks – anticipate the public’s reaction and plan an appropriate response

8 7 10 Best Practices for Communication Continuity, During Mega-Disasters BP #3 – Be Proactive and Harness the Power of Visuals  Never underestimate the public’s ability to comprehend the nature, form and severity of the crisis.  Use strong visuals – photos, video, graphics  Send the right visual cues – lab coat  Field instruments, site visits and demonstrations  Here’s a positive example: (video #1 1:58)

9 8 10 Best Practices for Communication Continuity, During Mega-Disasters BP #4 – Anticipate, Respond to What Reporters Want to Know  What you do or don’t do in the first few minutes and hours following a crisis will determine if you, and your agency will maintain credibility and control.

10 9 10 Best Practices for Communication Continuity, During Mega-Disasters What Reporters Want to Know  Survey WSJ, San. Fran. Chronicle, WTOP, USA-Today, Dallas Morning News, ABC-News Question: Following a nuclear event, what would reporters most want to know? 1.Was it accidental or intentional? 2.Who/What/Where/When/Why/How? 3.Explanation of what happened and what the risk is to the public/workers/ environment–using non-technical terms. 4.Number of injuries/fatalities. 5.Who is in charge of the investigation?

11 10 What Reporters Want to Know Accidental  Risk at 1,3,5,10,50,100,1,000 and 5,000 mile Radius.  What is being done to prevent another occurrence?  What do you still need to learn?  Who is: making repairs, in-charge of the evacuation, treating the injured, informing the families of victims?  Was negligence involved?  Were mistakes made? Intentional Are more attacks possible? Who was responsible? Have arrests been made? Motive? Why wasn’t the response quicker and more coordinated? Why didn’t you anticipate this event? Are investigators focused on a person or group? Will the US retaliate?

12 11 10 Best Practices for Communication Continuity, During Mega-Disasters BP #5 – Understand What Frustrates Reporters  No consideration of deadlines, Ask: What’s your deadline? Set realistic expectations.  Disorganization during press events—delays, no press packets, speaker bios or support materials  Being lied to or mislead  Inability of some officials to admit when they don’t know something or cannot say something  Inability to access people and information in a timely manner  There’s no where to hide: (Video #2 2:13)

13 12 10 Best Practices for Communication Continuity, During Mega-Disasters BP #6 – Practice the Do’s and Don'ts of Media Relations Do Provide frequent updates Be honest, just provide the facts Say what you know –don’t speculate, guess, assume, don’t guarantee Provide details, not vague statements—no such thing as too much information during a crisis Minimize “go betweens” Be available –provide a contact person for follow-ups

14 13 10 Best Practices for Communication Continuity, During Mega-Disasters BP #6 – Practice the Do’s and Don'ts of Media Relations Don’t Lie or deliberately mislead Prevaricate Withhold information without giving an adequate explanation as to why Provide inconsistent or inadequate information Try to spin the story –most times it’s obvious what you’re doing Be condescending Lose your cool Tell a reporter you’ll follow up and fail to do so

15 14 BP #7 – Use the 3-Phase Method  Impact Phase - Am I safe? - Are my loved ones safe? - What should I tell my children?  Recoil Phase - Physiologic, Safety, Social  Post-Trauma Phase - Response - Recovery - Resilience (Hope, Belief, Optimism, and Better Future)

16 15 BP #8 – Understand Loss as a Strategic Communications Lever  Loss (& Opportunity) Message Frames  Recoil Phase – Core Life Forces - Physiologic Needs – e.g., food, living conditions, even survival - Safety Needs – e.g., care, protection, free from fear, pain, and danger - Social Needs – e.g., connection, social cohesion  Trust Restoration Template: - Tell your audience/s what’s wrong about the behavior/action - Tell them what you’ve done about it - Tell them how you are ensuring that it won’t happen again - Point to something positive you are doing in that topic area

17 16 BP #9 – Optimize the Informational & Motivational  Left/right-brain dynamic – Balancing reflexive, left-brain response (information, in- control) with right-brain response (open, accessible, creative problem-solving, etc.)  Transactional – Offer/Acceptance  Present State-Future State- Change State

18 17 BP #10 – Make it Emotional, Simple & Doable (ESP) Emotion  Impact – Fear  Recoil – Multi-Stressor  Post-Trauma – Recovery and Resilience Simple  Clear  Concise  Free of Jargon Personal  Meaningful  Actionable  Measureable

19 18 Scenario – Government Agency in Crisis A premier government research agency finds its political and financial future in jeopardy. Drastic budget cuts could impact not only the future of the agency’s research program, teaching, and service mission, but its ability to recruit world-class leaders and researchers. In addition, deep salary cuts, limited bonuses, hiring freezes, and bans on new capital improvement projects are all part of the agency’s attempts to mitigate their most serious crisis to date.

20 19 10 Best Practices Action Plan #1 Threat __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ Readiness Level (1 to 10): __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ Your Top 3 Best Practices #1 _____________________________________ #2 _____________________________________ #3 _____________________________________ Your #1 Idea for Implementing Best Practices ________________________________________ ________________________________________ ________________________________________ ________________________________________ ________________________________________

21 20 Contact Information Tim Tinker (tinker_timothy@bah.com) Ph: 301-444-4034 Tony Dorsey (tdorsey@aashto.org(tdorsey@aashto.org) Ph: 202-624-3690 Copyright 2012. Booz Allen Hamilton. All Rights Reserved


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