Strategic planning, to be effective, must begin before severe weather strikes. Even in the cases where residents and agencies have some warning, such as Superstorm Sandy, communication must be organized, efficient and directed.
The American Red Cross provides a template for what can be done using effective PR. While local or regional charities cannot hope to match the budget of this organization, they can learn quite a bit about the most effective methods to respond to disaster, before and after it strikes.
Prior to the weather event, an experienced NY PR Agency can leverage the latest communications technology to coordinate the flow of information to all involved parties. In the case of the Red Cross, the organization prepositioned supplies and mobilized volunteers across the region.
A smaller, local organization may do the same but lack the resources to connect victims with volunteers. Local PR Firms can help bridge the gap when charities do not have the budgets to provide effective communications in-house.
In the aftermath of severe weather, families and individuals may be displaced or trapped in their homes. In both cases victims need a steady stream of actionable communication in order to make the best choices and, above all else, not panic.
No severe weather response will ever be perfect, and each situation is an opportunity to learn and to get better. The role of a NY PR Agency in this scenario is vital in helping charities and businesses donating to relief efforts engage in effective communication both with potential volunteers and victims.
A PR agency can help these groups control the flow of information and create cogent, actionable sound clips to submit to local and national media outlets.