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The Risk Communicator Newsletter

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Providing information and resources to help emergency risk communicators prepare and effectively respond in the event of a crisis.

Issue 2 - Collaborating for Successful Communication Results

Effectively preparing for emergencies takes collaboration. The best plans or theories will have little practical impact on the real world if communicators and emergency and risk coordinators don’t work effectively together at all levels of a response—from cooperation among teams, to collaborating among all levels of local, state, and federal response. Our ability to impact audiences is largely dependent on the quality and scope of collaboration with partners at many levels. In this second issue of The RC, we explore collaboration at all levels of an emergency’s communication response.

In this issue’s feature story, “Priceless Collaboration for Hurricane Preparedness” we discover how the Florida Department of Community Affairs partnered with a corporate giant to

  • Leverage well-known brands to aid recognition of messages that have a social purpose to them.
  • Encourage communicators to think creatively about partnering with business to reach the public with vital emergency communication messages.

The interview from the frontlines, “Talking to WHO’s John Rainford about the new WHO International Guidelines”

  • Explains how an international working group of risk communication leaders applied the WHO Outbreak Communication Principles to planning and preparation activities.
  • Provides specific information about implementing the Principles.
  • Serves as a guide to help member states build required capacity by collaborating and coordinating at all levels (global, national, state, local) for effective outbreak communication.

This month’s academic spotlight, “Marsha Vanderford et al’s Emergency Communication Challenges in Response to Hurricane Katrina”

  • Offers an evidence-based phased approach to emergency message dissemination.
  • Is based on lessons learned in the Centers for Disease Control’s joint information center during the 2005 response to Hurricane Katrina.

In this issue’s research summary, Robert J. Blendon et al report results of a Harvard poll on hurricane readiness, “Hurricane Readiness in High-Risk Areas: Overall Survey Results”

  • A Harvard poll finds out what the public fears the most during hurricanes and why they don’t always take measures to protect their health and safety.

"Elements of a Successful Exercise"

  • Offers tips about how to train and prepare your agency for an exercise, how to choose which type of exercise is best for your agency, and tips for exercising your communication plan in limited resource situations.

“Collaboration and Communication during Emergency Response”

  • Shares suggestions about communicating local input to management during the planning process.
  • Advises involving state associations of local health officers in setting protocols.
  • Suggests adopting a regional approach to planning.

A list of health observances

  • Includes timely suggestions about messaging to remind the public and stakeholders to prepare for emergencies.

A quarterly calendar of training opportunities

  • Provides links to upcoming conferences, workshops, and training events of interest to risk communicators.

If you would like to share your ideas and practical experiences with collaborating to form better communication strategies, plans, or campaigns, please e-mail


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