A look back on our crisis communication workshop at Naturgefahrentagung 2022
by Isabel Anger
The workshop on the topic of crisis communication as part of the Naturgefahrentagung 2022 (natural hazards conference) in Zell am See impressively showed that there are already many committed actors with good ideas in the municipalities and in the various emergency organizations, but at the same time there are still many open questions and topics. Much of this is already being successfully implemented and processed in practice. In order to benefit as best as possible from the lessons learned by other communities and stakeholders, a continuous exchange of possible approaches in crisis communication and a constant transfer of knowledge are important, so that people who are just starting their function are picked up and can already cope with the next scenario at a high-quality level.
In addition, there is a clear need for training and further education. Appropriately, there should also be a focus on evaluating events to identify lessons learned and uncover good/bad practices that can then be passed on to future crisis communicators.
To do this, it is absolutely necessary to establish a culture of error, in which communities can learn from each other without judgment and personal experiences and insights are shared in the sense of continuous improvement of crisis communication.
In summary, the basic principles of crisis communication:
- Speed (active and early)
- Truthfulness (factual, transparent and true)
- Comprehensibility (short, simple, uncomplicated, pictorial)
- Consistency (uniform, coordinated and continuous)