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Managing Multiple Messengers

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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Various stages of crisis bring together many players, agencies, organizations, and partners. Each one is responsible for different components of an emergency. As communicators, it’s important to understand how the roles of other messengers may affect your agency’s message.

Responders may come from federal, state, local, non-governmental, and faith-based organizations. These agencies and groups often have distinct missions, capabilities, and resources. Although their tasks may be unique, they will sometimes overlap with those of your agency.

Understanding the communication roles and responsibilities of different responders can be challenging. Within each agency, separate programs or departments may handle different areas of a crisis, including the following:

  • Planning
  • Preparedness
  • Training
  • On-the-scene assistance
  • Consequence management
  • Coordination
  • Communication

The variety of emergency response agencies can be confusing and overwhelming. However, each brings unique resources and a distinct voice to every response. Including these organizations in your communication plan is key to successfully coordinating response messages.

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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