Publishing Organisation:University College Copenhagen and University of Copenhagen
Primary Target Country:Europe
Audience experience level
Disaster Management Phase
POLICY BRIEF - Targeting Communication in Disasters
Populations in disasters are often assumed to be homogenous. However, targeting communication for different groups of citizens based on their individual needs andcapacities allow for efficient disaster risk management. Targeted communication is also important in the context of increased use of digital technologies such as social media and crowdsourcing to manage disasters. In order to be effective, communication should be inclusive and consider specifically vulnerable populations.
- The primary goal of communication with citizens before, during and after a disaster is to provide information and advice that potentially reduces disaster impacts and ensures citizen safety.
- This serves a dual purpose: first, it helps to prepare and protect citizens from harmful impacts of disasters and second, it facilitates efficient operations for the organisations working with disaster risk management by encouraging cooperation with their advice.
- It is crucial to acknowledge that citizens possess valuable skills, resources, and they are more likely to act on advice from the organisations working with disaster risk management when they are sufficiently targeted and informed.
- Communication is a two way street and citizens can play an active role in this process.
- However, citizen's skills are ignored and it is commonly assumed that large populations at risk of disasters have uniform information needs.
- This assumption fails to take into consideration the inherent diversity and vulnerability of large populations and in turn their differential needs, capacity, and resources.
- This exacerbates peoples’ vulnerabilities during different disasters.
- Therefore, effective communication requires targeting different groups who are most susceptible to a specific hazard followed by targeted messaging that meets the varying needs of different groups