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Commentary

Resource Round Up - Part 2 of 5

Item 2: the new UK resilience lessons digest Vol 1.

The lessons digest launched at the end of last month and is brought to us by Lianna Roast and her team from the Cabinet Office’s Emergency Planning College.


This was a sizeable publication and I don’t blame anyone if they have not yet finished digesting it all. Tuesday there was an also an online webinar to accompany its launch and hopefully most of you were able to attend. If not the session was recorded for later sharing.


So in terms of what I found most interesting in this publication form a comms perspective:

  • The learning from Storm Arwen – on page 43 it covers learning theme 4: information and expectations:

  • I found this to be particularly relevant from a comms perspective. With useful linkages to behavioural insights around expectations, and how we communicate can influence public outcomes.

  • In particular the lesson from Department for transport, where they noted, ‘A long-term consultation-based approach has been successful in both helping to manage public expectations, but also in developing the appropriate outcomes for communities’.


I found this lessons useful when considering the role of communication and engagement, especially in the context of delivering community resilience and whole of society resilience ambitions.


The Digest goes further on this topic of public expectations, with even greater insight and relevance to communications professionals in this space with its review of - Academic Insight on Information and Expectations in Power Outages.

This is really useful and interesting, when we reflect and consider the role of communications: the messaging content, frequency, public response, trust and expectations.


Again for me it links back nicely to the new cabinet office guidance – crisis comms a behavioural approach – guidance that can help us to relay uncertainty effectively, and still maintain or enhance public trust.


I considered this to be a very timely and useful learning insight particularly as comms professionals we are increasingly being asked and in some cases expected to plan for a variety of blackout scenarios and how we would communicate with the public in such instances.

Another useful comms relevant point on emerging practice:

The digest also notes that “finally, voice is given to lessons demonstrating transferable features of relevance to multi-hazard preparedness across the resilience community”. This I found particularly pertinent to draw out, as the ongoing debate around all-hazard preparedness communications continues to grow. I would expect further moves in this direction in the long term, aligned with international frameworks and best practice.

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