Home > Emergency Management > 27/9/3 Model for Emergency Messaging

27/9/3 Model for Emergency Messaging

When it comes time to create and deliver emergency messages, it is best to maximize the opportunity that news media offers an emergency information officer.  Remember, your audience…they are limited by the stress they are under, so make every word count!

27/9/3 model: a critical tool

Here’s some fundamental facts about how news media operate:

Barry Radford, Chairs Trillium Response News Conference, Thunder Bay

  • The average length of a sound bite in print media is 27 words. Your message should be short and clear. There is no room to make your sentences complicated,
  • The average duration of a sound bite in broadcast media is nine seconds. Make certain you deliver your key messages in as few words as possible or you will find much of your message on the editing room floor!
  • The average number of messages reported in both print and broadcast media is three. Just when you thought you had so much to say, you really only have three key messages to deliver.

These media limitations can work in your favor. It just happens that people in stressful situations can only comprehend about three key messages, so let the 27/9/3 model be your guide. Even the order in which these messages is delivered is important. People are apt to retain the first and third message in an emergency, so pick your order with care!

There’s only one more model that I need to share regarding emergency messaging…that will be the topic of our next blog posting. See you then!

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