Strategies for working with the mass media during emergencies

Media outlets have evolved into a 24/7 activity

By Anthony S. Mangeri, MPA, CEM, EMT, faculty member, Emergency and Disaster Management Program at American Military University

The ability of emergency management to communicate strategies and inform the public adequately during times of crisis is essential. Equally important is the value of the mass media as a partner in providing guidance on preparedness, creating risk-reduction strategies, and securing the reputation of an emergency management organization.

Media outlets have evolved into a 24/7 activity. Today’s popular media sources are distribution systems designed to collect information to convert into content. The content then is prepared to draw an audience. In addition, the audience make-up is essential to draw advertising; and advertising drives revenue.

Defining Mass Media
The concept of “media” has changed significantly over the years. Mass media may be defined as a mechanism to distribute information to a large part of the population. Today’s mass media includes traditional systems such as television, radio, newspapers, and magazines.

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