How the CDC Communicates in a Crisis

To ensure we’re continuing the best practices of crisis communications, we attended the recent #RaganCrisis Communications Conference in Omaha, NE to learn from outstanding experts including Vivi Siegel, the Acting Associate Director for Communications, Division of Environmental Health Science and Practice, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Her team deals with such crisis situations as infectious disease outbreaks, natural disasters and severe weather, bioterrorism and chemical and radiation exposures. 

They know from experience that the right message at the right time from the right person can save lives, so they follow six vital principles of crisis communications: 

  • Be First
  • Be Right
  • Be Credible
  • Express Empathy
  • Promote Action
  • Show Respect