Almost-Free Crisis Communications Training

The six principles below are right on target!

by Eric Holdeman / November 19, 2019

You can be doing or have done the best job ever — but if the story isn't told about your efforts, the story can go negative on you in a heartbeat. In today's information age, emergency managers and governments have to be "in the communications game!" See the information shared below for a resource that you can tap into.

David Maack, Racine County Emergency Management coordinator, sent me this information.

We just hosted CDC’s Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication course.

Nearly 50 local officials in Racine County, Wis., recently participated in the CDC’s Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication course. Taught by Kellee Waters, senior health communication specialist for the CDC’s Emergency Risk Communication Branch, the course expanded on the CDC’s Six Principles of CERC:

  1. Be First
  2. Be Right
  3. Be Credible
  4. Express Empathy
  5. Promote Action
  6. Show Respect

While the CDC must “stay in their public health lane,” the course is applicable across the board, and every public information officer or agency spokesperson would do well to consider the six principles when crafting their messages.

The CDC will deliver the course at your location, but you are responsible for covering travel expenses. Federal funds cannot be used. They also offer an online version of the course, and they have some great resource material. You can order the 2014 edition of the CERC manual, along with wallet cards, or you can download the updated version of the manual from their website.

Platforms & Programs