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Commentary

The International Security Expo Day 1. Part 4.

Mark Harris - Media engagement in a crisis - friend or foe? A great presentation, a whistle stop tour of the changing landscape in recent decades. How the industry, culture and technology has evolved. The intensification of the role of comms and what this means for comms practitioners within our sector. The takeaways: - Stay ahead of the narrative - All comes down to my favourite age old saying, proper, prior, preparation… - Plan it, know it, drill it, stress test it. - Agility is essential, agility is a blend of planning and learned responses - The tech, cultural expectations and demands are ever evolving as are the risks This for me was a particularly interesting talk and made me reflect hard on the current roles and responsibilities of comms staff in emergency management practice. For me, there is not enough planning, preparation, testing and exercising. Comms is never prioritised anywhere near to the extent that it should be. It’s always on the back foot when it comes to risk reduction. Because internal and external demands and expectations far outstrips capability - why because we don’t prioritise comms at that strategic level. We don’t invest and build up. We don’t use what can be one of our most highly influential tools in our arsenal to its fullest capability. For me this reinforced my view that comms for prevention, preparedness, engagement and trust building should be prioritised just as much as crisis comms. So that when it comes to the crisis people know who to trust and may even be more prepared.

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