Internal communication

Internal communication is very important because it ensures there is a consistent approach within the organisation and establishes the key relationships with other partner agencies.

Tasks:

  • Set up team – consider workshop for engagement strategy
  • Brief political representatives

When briefing political representatives, the following actions are recommended:

  • Find a champion or two on the Council who are interested and well respected;
  • Give presentations to council about how similar situations have been dealt by other regions that have had success stories. These presentations should be from well-respected elected members and/or senior executives;
  • Build the level of understanding first - never overestimate how much is already known;
  • Use economic arguments to support your case. Many elected members are business people and will be concerned about this aspect of your proposal;
  • The ability to make successful changes depends upon the capability and capacity of councils (particularly financial), and the exposure to risk for the organisation. Councils and councillors may have the willingness but not the ability to effect change. Include a recognition of these factors in the options you present;
  • Timing is important:
    • - Avoid new initiatives that may have negative consequences (or the perception of these) in the lead-up to triennial elections. Either that or provide a way that they can be positively viewed;
    • - Piggy-back on recent emergency events that have caused problems - especially if communities are unhappy and council has incurred costs;
  • Focus first on the highest risk hazards that are most likely to harm people;
  • Concentrate efforts at the territorial authority level, as this is where risk and land use decisions have most impact. Engage the communications team in helping to create and deliver key messages to councillors and to the public;
  • Avoid 'tech-talk' (like AEP, probabilistic, regression analyses etc.), but have the technical information in your back pocket;
  • Be realistic about what is achievable - start small.