Home > Emergency Management > Compassion, Competence and Optimism

Compassion, Competence and Optimism

“When people are stressed and upset, they want to know that you care before they care what you know”- Will Rogers

How you deliver your messages will determine their effectiveness on an already stressed audience.
As we discussed in the previous posting – It’s not necessarily what you say, rather it’s how you say it that counts. 


Incident Commander talks with a community in crisis

Convey caring and empathy – Before you launch into your key messages, regardless of the interviewers first question, establish that you and your responding agency empathize with those folks who are taking the hit from the emergency event.

“The Ministry of Natural Resources understands the stress that the community is currently facing as this event unfolds.”

Demonstrate competence – When delivering you messages, ensure that you express conviction, commitment and competence in the tasks that you are bringing to aid the community. Remember you are being judged by both those most directly impacted by the event and, by those people who care about the them.

“… our emergency response staff  will do everything possible to assist the community. Our response plan is already activated …”

Offer hope and optimism – People need to see light at the end of the tunnel. Regardless of the initial and/or continuing impacts of the hazard unfolding, you audience needs your optimism on better day.

“We have faced similar events before and know that this will end. We can work with you to start the recovery and restoration …”

Being effective as an emergency information officer requires; skills training, exercising the skill and, being prepared to respond when called.  It does require your commitment, to ensure that you are prepared!

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