On 20 May 2021, the UIC-led EU H2020 project PROACTIVE jointly organised an online webinar with EU H2020 project NO FEAR entitled “Communication in crisis: Recommendations on Management, Approaches and Tools for Effective Communication.” The webinar had over 90 attendees and focused on recommendations for crisis communication.
The webinar was opened with introductions to both projects by their respective coordinators. This was followed by inputs from experts from both projects on communication for crisis events, including Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and explosive (CBRNe) terrorism.
First, Magen David Adom (NO FEAR project partner) emphasised the importance in letting the people you are communicating with know that you care about their concerns. The German Police University then shared the results from two PROACTIVE surveys which were used to perform a gaps analysis when it comes to making sure crisis communication for CBRNe events is accessible. They found that practitioners need to do more for the diverse civil society they serve. Next, the Irish Centre for Emergency Management (NO-FEAR partner) reinforced this message by stating that there is no “one-fits-all” approach when it comes to crisis communication and therefore it is necessary to co-create emergency messages with diverse groups of people.
When it comes to the Human Factor, Public Health England shared the results of their literature review on crisis communication for PROACTIVE project which found that effective CBRNe crisis communication is easy to understand, disseminated in multiple ways, delivered by a credible spokesperson and incorporates psychological constructs (e.g. trust). Next, the Austrian Red Cross (NO-FEAR partner) shared the importance of linking hope to the threat in order to help people take protective actions in a crisis.
The last session focused on tools for crisis communication. RINISOFT demonstrated the PROACTIVE CBRNe Mobile App for citizens and practitioners and explained how it can be used for two-way communication (e.g. reporting, notifications). Then STEAMWIDE (NO-FEAR partner) presented their tool for practitioner-to-practitioner communication during crisis, which can support any field operation.
A summary of the lessons learned from this webinar is available on the NO FEAR project portal: https://www.no-fearproject-portal.eu/
The recording of the webinar is also available and can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/4AiwOl_hLQY
Over the summer period, the PROACTIVE team will deliver more presentations at several other events and scientific conferences.