In a crisis there will be a special need to communicate quickly and accurately. Misinformation can cost lives. No information can cost lives–and so can distractions.
These next videos will feature comments and analysis on how authorities, media, and civilians are handling the crisis that broke out during the 2013 Marathon Bombings in Boston, MA. This is an occasion for you to learn and absorb how each party acts in this situation; how do the news deliver their messages? How do officials deliver theirs? How are people making use of news and media? This is a complex situation which involves various parties and precious time, not to mention shock and grief.
Take a look at just a few moments from this news conference held during the Boston bombing. There are about 16 participants and it goes on for more than 15 minutes. This is more a photo opportunity than a news conference. Can you tell why?
We’ve edited this down to just a few minutes, followed by my live commentary on news conference protocols.
Notice the abrupt ending of my commentary. That’s live TV. I’m there to provide background information and comments on live events. But if something more newsworthy happens, I’m off in a split second. When that event ceases to be newsworthy–I’m back on.
This next video follows up on the previous one with a following health conference where more information was revealed about the people undergoing medical care.
I offer advice on how a following news conference would benefit from better communication and information delivery. Officials in these kinds of situations have to inform the public appropriately and efficiently on their measures with more specific demands in order for the public to help them. Remember, we need to apprehend the suspects in as little time as possible and everybody’s cooperation is essential in this complex investigation. Anything could happen in a second and disturb things further.
During the Boston marathon bombings the police task force had a tremendous effort to undertake in securing the area surrounding the events and the people directly and indirectly involved throughout the region. Local, municipal, and regional police forces had to work together to keep the situation stable and pursue evidence search.
Take a look at the next videos to see more about the police work involved in this crisis and how their methods of research are relevant in today’s modern crisis situations.
As you can see in the video robocalls can improve on communication efficiency. Now we’ve seen earlier how technology can help authorities to find further evidence and aid in research. The following video will cover an important aspect which gathers two sides of the bombings; the news media and the police work that we are covering here.
We have covered delivery of the news, now we are covering the delivery of the news of police work and how it is interpreted by the public. Some unnecessary information can be delivered for the sake of reporting, and on a day with such a crisis so much confusion can run around that it may be hard to filter out real news from unnecessary news. It is about delivery what you know for sure.
Finally an important aspect that cannot be ignored in a crisis are the victims and their close ones, including those who were close or related to any suspects in the events. In the next video you’ll see a scrum interview of the Boston marathon bombing’s suspect’s uncle.
After that interview there is a commentary I make on CityNews about the uncle’s speech. This is an example of emotional confusion that can run around people’s minds in this situation. It is also important to understand what can go on in the suspects and family’s mind for such things to happen and to realize how some people interpret things differently than others in such situations.
In the next video we go further into mental health with PTSD. PTSD can become a problem after crises, even if cases are relatively rare. There are innocent people who find themselves right in the middle of these events who never expected this to happen. You have to deliver appropriate counselling to the victims of this crisis without being too invasive.
Mental health should be a concern both for the victims and for the suspects, as explained in the second part of the video just above.
I share my thoughts on the ongoing search for the Boston Marathon bombing suspect on the run. We discuss more about the suspect and what their family and friends think of them, as well as the police tactics to make sure the citizens and police officers are safe.
The White House deemed the attack as an act of terrorism and I discuss that the bomb could have been homegrown.
Let’s go back in history and see how past cases help us learn how to deal with future cases. I also discuss how the media is not giving all the information out to the public and journalists, and I share my thoughts on surveillance cameras if they are a breach of privacy.
While waiting on the latest press conference on the Boston Bombing, I discuss why press conference get delayed and the importance of making sure the information and knowledge is correct before speaking with the public about the current situation.
How much information is enough information? As we learn more about the suspects of the Boston Bombing, we think to ourselves, what information is the most vital that can help us understand the reason why they did this and how we can prevent something like this to happen again.
I’ve written a protocol to my client and it’s to hold a news briefing every 20 minutes – this helps journalists know what is currently going on and if there are any new information or not.
The safety of the community is important, it’s great to know that 9,000 police officers were involved in helping to catch the suspect and to make sure the citizens and neighbourhoods are as safe as it could be.
Another group of people that are having an effect on this are lawyers, I discuss my thoughts on tainted information on social media and what family, friends and witnesses are saying about the suspect and the situation.
The more you know about a suspect, the more you can understand his motivations, and all this is of great value and help for any future crisis or terrorism event. This is why we show you this case study; learning from past experiences is what will help us prevent future crises better.