Leadership in Hazardous Materials Management, Part I – Leadership Challenges with 250 words with Two Responses 100 words each.

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American Military University


Week 6 Forum

  • Respond to the following question:
    • What is the most important thing you can do as an Incident Commander to address media relations?
      • Use APA standard for referencing and formatting
  • Respond to the posts of at least two of your classmates for full credit.
  • Forum posts must be a minimum of 250 words and submitted before the close of the day (11:55 p.m. ET) on Thursday of the course week.
  • Response postings should be meaningful and substantive and a minimum of 100 words. Do not simply say, “I agree!”. All response posts need be submitted prior to the close of the day (11:55 p.m. ET) on Sunday of the course week.

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Responses to Question Student 1 Good Morning Class, This week we learned a lot of how to bring the media into the community’s disaster planning process to effectively work alongside them during an incident. If there is not a preestablished relationship the chances that the media and emergency management professionals will have tension during the response is higher. Allowing the media to be brought into the plans can help deconflict some of these tensions. The most important thing an IC can do to address media relations is to be prepared for them. To be prepared the IC needs to understand the importance of, volume of, and nature of media relations. A few of the considerations prior to the event including education the media, involving the media in planning, understanding how the media typically responds in high volumes, establishment of key PIO roles and Joint Information Centers. Involving the media in disaster planning rather than planning for the media can allow for a mutually beneficial relationship between emergency managers and the media (Heide, 1989). To lessen some of the strain from overwhelming media response the IC can establish a central source from which the media can receive information from (Heide, 1989). These information hubs can ensure that the media is receiving consistent and accurate information that it can then disseminate to the public. As an IC there are many things to consider with addressing the media relations. Hopefully some of the preplanning media involvement considerations have been taken into account prior to the incident to help lessen some of the tensions. Even if the prior coordination and planning with local media has not been established, the IC can still take several actions to address the media relations. Being prepared for media engagements can ensure the IC or PIO is not caught off guard by questions. Having general types of information available that the media will likely be inquiring about can expedite the process as well. The media will typical ask about casualty information, property damages, response and relief activates, characteristics of the crisis and the cuase of the disaster (Heide, 1989). This information can be complied and ready to be briefed to the media at press releases or conferences. Reference: Heide, E. (1989). Chapter 10: The Media: Friend and Foe. In Disaster Response: Principles of Preparation and Coordination. Mosby. Retrieved February 10, 2019 doi:https://edge.apus.edu/access/content/group/1a4f7aea-6275-44c887d2a162ca7ce1bb/Reading%20Folder%20Week%206/Chapter10.pdf Thanks Trent Hale Student 2 The most important thing an IC can do to address media relations is to ensure his or her staff, to include the PIO is prepared to handle the press, and prepared to give accurate and honest information. There are many actions that when followed help when interacting to the media, however, the overarching action that essentially encompasses all others it to be prepared. As stated by Auf der Heide (1989), “Do your homework and be ready with answers. Background material, graphs, charts, and illustrations can sometimes be assembled in advance to help convey what you will want to say” (p. 151). When communicating to the press, whether it the IC, PIO, or someone else with the assigned task, it’s important that that individual take the time to ensure that they have accurate and pertinent information to report. If an individual in un-prepared while communicating with the media they may come off as either hiding something, incompetent, or both. This can severely hinder the relationship between the community and the government agencies within the IC structure. Conversely, when an individual is speaking to the media is prepared with accurate and pertinent information, and answers questions honestly the relationship the media will be much better. Maintaining a positive relationship with the media has proven to be very beneficial prior to and during disasters. The media has the ability to transmit vital information from the IC, through the PIO, to the community with instructions that will help keep them safe, and hopefully away from danger. However, by damaging those relations by being ill prepared the media can serve more as a deterrent during an emergency, rather than a role player who has the ability to widely disseminate needful information. As stated by Sandman (1986), “… the risks of ducking the media are far greater than the risks of working with them…By improving your own performance as a source, you can bring about a real improvement in media coverage of environmental risk” (para. 38). Disasters will always encompass the media, because of this; PIOs and potential ICs must understand how to positively and effectively utilize the media. The media can be a great tool if treated correctly, and this requires that those who deal with the media be prepared to interact with them. Marshall References Auf der Heide, E. (1989). Disaster response: Principles of preparation and coordination. Retrieved from library.ndmctsgh.edu.tw/milmed/avitation/file-med/DisasterResponse.pdf Sandman, P. M. (1986). Explaining environmental risk: Dealing with the media. Retrieved from https://edge.apus.edu/access/content/group/security-and-global-studiescommon/EDMG/EDMG330/Week%206/ExplainingEnvironmentalRisk_DealingWiththeMedia. doc
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Explanation & Answer


Leadership in Hazardous Materials Management, Part I – Leadership Challenges
The media serves as an important tool for an incident commander to pass information
to the public and other relevant stakeholders. Through the media, an incident commander can
give warnings, communicate the goals of an agency, provide guidelines to follow during an
event and provide a comprehensive report about a particular incident. While the media can
contribute positively to the success of an operation, Dhakal (2018) warns that misinformation,
insufficient information, lack of media coverage, and negative publicity could jeopardize the
operations of a disaster management agency. As a result, it is always important to maintain
positive media relations.
There are various strategies to maintain positive media relations. Some of these
include maintaining a contact list and talking to the media frequently. Besides the official
contact information, FEMA (2007) recommends that...

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