Stakeholder Communication Strategies from the Zika Action Plan Summit
On April 1, 2016, CDC hosted the Zika Action Plan Summit (ZAP). One of the goals of this summit was to increase knowledge of crisis and emergency risk communication (CERC) principles. Communication plays a role during all stages of an event. All responding partners should plan and coordinate communication activities and messages. CDC shared the Zika Communication Planning Guide for StatesCdc-pdf at the ZAP Summit. It provides resources to develop risk communication strategies for federal, state, local, and territorial response to the ongoing outbreak of Zika.
ZAP summit participants attended breakout sessions to help them improve their Zika Action Plans. They were given the opportunity to discuss best practices with both other participants and CDC experts. Internally, strategic communication plans should increase speed and accuracy of the response, ensure adequate reporting, keep leaders and decision makers informed, and prevent duplication of efforts. Externally, communication plans keep messaging and updates coordinated. Participants were armed with CDC guidance, key messages, a digital press kit, draft press releases, a microsite, and CERC materials. They returned to their states and territories with solid plans aimed at protecting residents from Zika virus infection.