Recently, I joined a client for an “active shooter workshop” organized by the Department for Homeland Security. Some of the workshop leaders were pleased to see reputation managers in the room.
Echoing the Mos Eisley Cantina Bar, one said “We don’t see a lot of your kind here. But we should. The role of communicators is critical for siteemergency management, and reputation management is a key piece of the recovery process.”
So the question is posed — why aren’t more communicators and counselors attending these sessions?
The DHS and local emergency response protocols have been updated substantially after the horrific incidents seen in Newton CT, Aurora CO, the campus of Virginia Tech, the mall in Maryland, etc. If on-site emergency communications plans don’t reflect these changes, it could retard progress to resolve an incident. And if reputation management plans are out of synch, it would be an “unforced error.”
I won’t provide details here on workshop specifics, but there are great tips provided in several areas, including: prevention, establishing on-site “go bags” for responders and other preparedness activity, establishing relations with local responders in advance, drills, on-site emergency communications templates and procedures (critical!) and more.
University campuses, retailers, site management companies and operations with large on-site personnel should strongly consider these workshops. And bring the PR guys…the DHS officials would love to see more of you.
If you are interested in future workshops, please contact ASworkshop@hq.dhs.gov. Or check the free resources available on their website.
FWIW, this is my first, and LAST post completely composed on iPhone to take advantage of a travel delay. Not worth the effort. WordPress interface is yucky.
Also, I’ve been favoring “microblogging” through Twitter lately, so please remember to follow me there for more timely posts and discussion. — J.D.