Friday, November 20, 2009

Very nice conference today

Really a small meeting of about 20 communicators from the federal and provincial government who'd play a role during an emergency. It was a very valuable initiative from a colleague of mine and his counterpart at the federal level.

We had a presentation on critical infrastructure and interdependencies among all sectors ... the whole "system of systems" approach. Another one on crisis communications from a former Canadian naval public affairs officer ... punctuated with lots of anecdotes and examples. A very entertaining and instructive affair ...

And I gave an update on G8 security and communications planning for the 2010 meeting in Huntsville, Ontario. Overall, a very good get-together.

a couple of observations:
1- these kinds of meetings are essential building blocks for good cooperation during emergencies ... after all, what we do is all based on relationships ... a crisis is not the time to start exchanging business cards ... you need to be able to pick up the phone, talk to a connection and say: we need this or that ... can you help ? can you run this by your people real quick?

2- it's critical to get people from different levels of government used to each other's way of doing things ... goes a long way in managing expectations and establishing solid liaison protocols ...

Now a question: how often do you hold these meetings? do you involve people from other jurisdictions or levels of government? other agencies? and even the private sector (if you're dealing with critical infrastructure. their presence is essential ...)

Let me know !

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