Have you identified your spokesperson? In the ICMA publication, InFocus Report: Effective Crisis Communication, it notes that the right spokesperson possesses a number of critical skills, including:
- Express empathy and compassion for the victims and their loved ones who are
- affected by a crisis
- Acknowledge feelings
- Acknowledge criticism without becoming defensive
- Handle hostility, fear, and anger.
- Know how to analyze the audience
- Model calm confidence and a positive attitude
- Know how to deliver bad news
- Stress key information
- Effectively and smoothly use visual aids such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Prezi
- Establish credibility
- Give clear instructions.
- Effectively answer media questions
- Avoid answering some questions; do it graciously
- Set limits when too much is being requested
- Practice listening skills
- Practice clarifying, paraphrasing, and acknowledging
- Practice handling press conferences, television, radio, and print media interviews.
Online and social media skills
- Develop familiarity with Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube as communication tools
- Identify appropriate RSS Feeds for emergency preparedness
- Compose e-mail alerts.