The council’s policy for dealing with the media in a disaster is based on its policy for dealing with day-to-day media enquiries.
The press office has a good relationship with the media based on its past record in supporting the media policy described above which would help support the organisation through a disaster.
The press office would strive to continue with the policy outlined above supported by a flexible media plan outlined below.
The overall objectives will be to support the emergency plan by:
- issuing factual information to help relieve public apprehension and quickly rebutting any serious misinformation
- assisting the rescue operation by publicising emergency information such as telephone numbers
- managing the media so that they do not impede any rescue or cause unnecessary distress
- help draw national or international attention to the plight of the victims and families, for example, through any disaster appeals.
Newcastle City Council operates a 24 hour media service through a duty press officer scheme. In an emergency the press office will be notified according to the call out procedure. The Head of Communications or Senior Press Officer will be contacted immediately. They will contact the duty press officer and where possible other press officers.
Telephone numbers for the Head of Communications, Senior Press Officer and out of hours duty press officer are available via the Civic Centre out of hours service.