A longer version of this post is also available at the Reach the Public Blog.
Federal, state, and local health agencies are working overtime to inform the public about the recent Swine Flu outbreak that is currently affecting Mexico and small portions of the United States, but that poses a real international threat.
Direct information from the government is an important primary source of information for the public, the media, and the public health community during an outbreak.
Because our company works with the majority of federal health agencies and a large number of state and local agencies on digital outreach, we see the broad range of critically important messages going out the public. Already, government agencies have sent hundreds of thousands of messages regarding Swine Flu.
Here is a sample of those messages:
- Centers for Disease Control (English)
- Centers for Disease Control (Spanish)
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
- Texas Health & Human Services System (English)
- Texas Health & Human Services System (Spanish)
- Minnesota Department of Health
- San Diego County
When there is an emergency or potential emergency affecting your agency, you should follow the lead of these government communicators and get the word out as quickly as possible by using all key online and offline channels including your website, email, text message, and traditional media. The key is to act quickly so that the citizens learn as much information as possible directly from their government.
See this story from the recent peanut recall to understand how every bit of communication makes a difference.