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FCN Lunch and Learn - Successful Campaigns - Joe Flood of Weather-Ready - 3-21-2013

  1. Lunch & Learn Series: Successful Campaigns in Lean Times …a look at turning the U.S. into a “Weather-Ready Nation” March 21, 2013 @FedCommNetwork The Federal Communicators Network, an independent volunteer group founded in 1995, offers communications best practices, training, networking, and other opportunities for federal government employees. We are committed to the highest principles of integrity, professionalism, and public service. To join FCN, please visit:
  2. Weather-Ready Nation March 21, 2013 Joe Flood National Weather Service
  3. In 2011 Alone… Fourteen $1 Billion Disasters 3
  4. 2012 Continued the Trend Eleven $1 Billion Disasters 4 4
  5. “Superstorm” Sandy 5 5
  6. “Superstorm” Sandy Social and Economic Impacts • 72 US deaths, plus 75 outside the US • 17 US states affected; damage between $50-65 Billion • 8.5 million without power at the height of the storm • Over 18,000 commercial airline flights canceled • Evacuations from Ocean City, MD to Dartmouth, MA (400 miles of coastline) 6 LaGuardia airport – Courtesy of Jet Blue 6
  7. In the past few years… Scope of Disasters Reflects Our Societal Vulnerability 7
  8. A Changing World Increasing Vulnerability to High-Impact Weather 8 8
  9. Building a Weather-Ready Nation Becoming a Weather- Ready Nation (WRN) is about building community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather. The NWS is leading development of new decision support services, improving technology to track and forecast storms, and expanding its dissemination efforts to achieve far-reaching national preparedness for weather events. 9
  10. What does this mean? The NWS is leading development of new decision support services, improving technology to track and forecast storms, and expanding its dissemination efforts to achieve far-reaching national preparedness for weather events. 10
  11. Explaining Science • Use common terms • Avoid acronyms • Get out of the organizational bubble • Relate to real-world situations • Stress benefits, not features 11
  12. “Decision Support Services” You’re in charge of the July 4th celebrations on the National Mall. A line of thunderstorms is approaching – do you evacuate everyone? Decision Support Services provides real-time information from on-site meteorologists so that you can evacuate crowds before the storm. 12
  13. “Improving technology to track and forecast storms” Dual-pol radar allows forecasters to peer into storms, allowing them to distinguish between rain and snow and better identify tornadoes. Currently being rolled-out across the US. 13
  14. “expanded dissemination efforts” • Wireless Emergency Alerts – text messages sent directly to your cellphone • What do you need to do? Nothing – sent automatically. • Not 100% available yet on all phones 14
  15. Features vs Benefits Features or benefits? Which matters most? FEATURE: Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency messages sent by authorized government alerting authorities through your mobile carrier. Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA… Is this the story you want to tell? BENEFIT: Get a text alert before a tornado hits your house. Concentrate on BENEFITS!! 15
  16. Case Study: National Severe Weather Preparedness Week (NSWPW) • March 3-9, 2013 • 2nd year • Partnership with FEMA • In addition to state preparedness weeks 16
  17. Main Message Be a Force of Nature You are not powerless in the face of extreme weather. Know your risk, take action and be an example during National Severe Weather Preparedness Week. 17
  18. Secondary Messages 1.Know Your Risk – learn about weather resources, the difference between a watch and a warning, etc.. 2.Take Action – have an emergency plan, prepare an emergency kit, know what to do when disaster strikes 3.Be an Example – share your preparedness story through social media 18
  19. NSWPW Traditional Media • Joint NOAA/FEMA press release • Outreach to reporters • Presidential Message • Statements from senior leadership 19
  20. NSWPW New Media • Online toolkit: blog post, talking points, press release, video • WRN website updated daily • A new story every day on, linking to WRN site • Social Media Plan: scheduled tweets and Facebook posts for NOAA, NWS and partners 20
  21. Internal Communications • Webinar to 122 NWS Field Offices briefing them on the week • Field offices have vibrant Facebook pages • Comm tools posted to intranet • Staff (and their networks) are an untapped resource 21
  22. Partnerships • NSWPW developed jointly with FEMA • American Red Cross, AARP and The Weather Channel also helped promote the week 22
  23. NSWPW Results • Impacted by sequester (leadership didn’t want to go on camera) and then Snowquester • Press coverage in local papers, municipalities, blogs and on the Hill • Facebook: 1,003 likes, 313,556 views, 1,895 shares, 66 comments 23
  24. WRN Challenges • Awareness of Weather-Ready Nation (25%) and Be a Force of Nature (10%) is low among the public • 1998-era web tools • No $$ like most agencies 24
  25. WRN Advantages • Weather is relevant to everyone – ASI score of 84 for NWS • Broad community support – the weather impacts everyone • Allies in The Weather Enterprise 25
  26. The Weather Enterprise It’s about working together Emergency Private Broadcast Social Government Academia Management Sector Media Science 26
  27. Coming Soon 27
  28. Low-Cost Tips • Rewrite your content focused on benefits • Communicate internally and give staff tools to get the message out • Use social media to get the word out about your program • Partner with outside organizations, even if it’s informally, to publicize your message 28
  29. Summary • Weather-Ready Nation and Be a Force of Nature are messages that resonate with the public – when they hear of them • Challenge is explaining science in terms that the public can understand • We can increase engagement by producing content focused on benefits • Challenges are money and technology • We have allies in The Weather Enterprise • We’re just getting started 29
  30. Questions and Discussion