Communication strategies support crisis management. Organizations need to communicate and monitor before, during and after emergencies, but also seek to empower citizens by enhancing response abilities. We provide new knowledge that addresses current gaps in international research and free tools for public organizations.
The project Public Empowerment Policies for Crisis Management will identify best practices in the community approach to crisis resilience, and give directions for future research and implementation, including the use of social media and mobile services, to further citizen response.
The project Developing a Crisis Communication Scorecard delivered an audit instrument and guides for communication strategies which will better prepare public authorities for the task of communication in crisis situations.
Terror Emergency Communication is a research area investigated to further improve crisis communication in the case of CBRN terror crises. It provides advice for communication strategies in crisis situations caused by hazardous (chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear) materials.
The status of public empowerment initiatives in the different countries is diverse. Insights and best practices need to be exchanged.
There are many different possibilities to engage publics in crisis preparedness and response that can be utilized. Response organisations need crisis communication competence to co-create safety with public groups. Resources can be mapped and local groups included in crisis preparedness and planning, for example, by arranging joint exercises involving citizens, starting preparedness education at an early stage involving schools, and a clear communication strategy involving online communication.
Key enablers for public empowerment are:
- Inviting people to participate through concrete actions and sharing of information
- Including public communication initiatives in authority communication
- Accessibility and inclusiveness of authority communication
- Making information widely available and easy to find.
Recommendations and links can be found in this crisis communication WIKI for professionals.