It has been an interesting year with highs and lows. One thing I didn’t expect from 2018 was to make two trips to Norway which is definitely one of the high points.
I have to admit to knowing very little about Norway other than it gave birth to the pop group of my youth A-ha and my horsey friend Rachael was born and brought up there. Of course most people will remember the events of 22 July 2011 when there was an horrific terror attack. It is always referred to as the 22 July incident by Norwegians and for good reason.
It was a brutal attack on young people and in a small country it impacted on many people. Being asked to talk to the country’s communication professionals about an effective crisis response has been a privilege. They face some unique challenges due to culture and geography but there are so many similarities with the issues we all face.
We need to work closer together across public service communication teams so that it is a coordinated approach and we can maximise the impact of the response.
We all need to focus on the impact of events and incidents on people and ensure we make the right decisions for them. Within this we need to build our own resilience and that of our communication teams to ensure we are looking after ourselves and able to do our best.
We need to spend more time preparing ourselves for that moment when we are faced with a crisis and have to take action.
These are challenging times when there are an ever growing number of possible crises that may happen and that we may become involved in. Most of these things are global and have the possibility of touching us all. Of course we have to look at our readiness and our internal processes and procedures. But more importantly we need to be looking wider so that we can work together to deal with global threats and issues.
There is a lot that I want to take forward from my two trips to Norway and mainly it is to have a global perspective on crisis communication where we help each other.