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Building Partnerships

This information is for historic and reference purposes only.  Content has not been updated since the last reviewed date at the bottom of this page.
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Many partners are trusted sources of information for their communities. Building strong partnerships before an emergency helps reach more people with consistent messaging through different channels. In the midst of a crisis, it will be too late to establish a smooth, coordinated system with established roles. Partnerships should be rooted in the shared purpose of serving and reaching the most people in an emergency.

Partners—like community-based organizations, religious groups, and schools— are the gatekeepers to communities your organization may serve. They are familiar, trustworthy, and influential figures for their members.

What are some ways to develop and strengthen emergency response partnerships?

Build relationships for a response before a crisis takes place.

  • Assess the audience your organization will aim to reach during an emergency and identify their trusted sources of information.
  • Identify your organization’s current community, social, and professional networks. Start the discussion with existing partners on how you can work together in an emergency.

Design a plan for communicating with partners during an emergency.

  • Establish key points of contact or liaisons for each partnership.
  • Schedule regular meetings and conference calls.
  • Determine how you will give updates.
  • Determine a process for joint decision-making.

Building partnerships strengthens your organization’s credibility and ensures that your messages are consistent and received through multiple channels. Thoughtful planning and specific communication strategies will foster thriving, manageable, and long-term partnerships.

For more resources and information on CERC, please see Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication, 2014 Edition or Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication Pandemic Influenza, 2007.

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