Our Principles provide a detailed understanding of how we believe communication and community engagement management and disasters should work.
EMPA Principles of Communication in Disaster and Emergency
1. THE SEAT AT THE TABLE
Systems and Structures
Excellent communication is central to excellent operations. Communicators need a seat at the table and a voice in strategic decision making. They should understand, support, and influence operational objectives.
2. STRATEGIC MESSAGING
Connection and Credibility
Effective disaster communication requires a rigorous strategic process. We must do far more than transmit accurate data. We must understand why we speak. We must understand those we are speaking with. We must listen to ensure that we have been heard, understood, and believed.
3. COMMUNITY FOCUSSED COMMUNICATION
People are the primary focus. We need to work with communities. We need to build communication policy, plans and practice that truly acknowledge the community’s capacity and complexity, their perspectives and priorities.
4. CREATING CONNECTIONS
Emergencies break things apart. A key responsibility for emergency communicators is to create and strengthen the links between teams, organisations, groups, and individuals.
5. CREATING NETWORKS
Disaster impacts whole communities. It is fundamental to effective emergency communication, to create networks between emergency response agencies, government and the private sector so that we can work together to help the community prepare, respond and recover.
6. WORKING WITH MEDIA AND SOCIAL MEDIA PROVIDERS – Liaison to Collaboration
Media agencies, journalists and those who work on social media to collect and create content, are our partners in disaster communication. We should move beyond liaison to develop trusted relationships and effectively collaborate to support, guide and empower those impacted.
7. BUILDING TEAMS
There is much to be done. We need to resource and build scalable and adaptable teams of skilled communication practitioners. We need to prepare them, build their capacity, and work to ensure their well-being.