Thursday, October 29, 2009

Presentation on emergency information and crisis communications

I was invited earlier this week to give a presentation on emergency information planning and delivery and crisis communications practices in the Ontario government. The audience was a delegation of communicators from the Jiangsu provincial government in China and some municipal officials.

Although I was fairly sick, I thought I shouldn't disappoint our Cabinet Office and create an international incident by cancelling at the last minute (just kidding ... but I did feel I had to go).

I kept my presentation short and focused ... with only as much info as necessary on my powerpoint. That was helpful since we had to wait for the translator to relay our comments to the audience.

But before I developed my presentation I had to think hard about the differences in the social and political environment between Jiangsu and Ontario. Those differences really change the perceptions on communications especially when dealing with social media and the internet.

However, despite the current political system in China, the fact is the same general principles apply: social media is changing the game and expectations from citizens are increasing.

Goes back to my mantra: we (as PIOs) need to occupy the public space and take part in the many conversations that begin soon (very soon in fact) after any incident or crisis. If we don't ... our organizations and messaging become irrelevant ...

To be able to do so effectively, you need a sound crisis comms plan structured along the four Ps: procedures, people, preparation, practice.

Here's a link to my presentation on slideshare (free):

1 comment:

  1. Patrice:

    You did a great job on that presentation. You make some wonderful points (exercising social media!?) that I wish other PIOs would take to heart. Kudos!