Supporting communication around the Canterbury earthquakes and other risks : a learning workshop 7th April 2011 (print copy)

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Winstanley, A.; Cronin, K.; Daly, M.C. 2011 Supporting communication around the Canterbury earthquakes and other risks : a learning workshop 7th April 2011. Lower Hutt: GNS Science. GNS Science miscellaneous series 37 35 p.

Abstract: A workshop called “Supporting Communication around the Canterbury Earthquake and Other Risks: A Learning Workshop”, took place on 7 April 2011, in Christchurch 6 weeks after the devastating magnitude 6.2 earthquake in Canterbury on 22 February 2011. The workshop was organised by social scientists at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) and the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS Science), and brought together people with varying areas of expertise to generate a ‘big picture view’ of the communication dynamics at work around a major emergency. The workshop organisers recognised that ‘risk’ meant different things to different people so did not offer a preconceived definition of ‘risk’ communication but anticipated a wide-ranging discussion around the subject. The workshop was predicated on the idea of linking risk communication theory and practice and it was anticipated that the resultant learning could support processes for improving linkages between policy and practice, as well as defining future priorities in the natural hazards and risk communication research domains. This report provides a summary of the presentations and workshop participant discussions. Key messages emerging include; (i) the need for two-way communication to ensure relevance at individual suburb/community level as well as city-wide; (ii) the need for better integration across agencies; (iii) consistent risk communication messages delivered by trusted spokespersons; and (iv) a need to rethink the role and responsibility of local media. Researchers noted a gap in the literature about early response phase communication, and potential research questions focused around how to widen and document the learning from the Canterbury experience; the role of the media; how to build community resilience; how to effectively communicate risk, and building adaptability and flexibility into organisational communication practices. (auth)

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