Drinking Water Risk Communication Toolkit Classic Issue Communications

Drinking Water Risk Communication Toolkit
Well-Known Issue Communications

  • Inform and help community understand how to prevent or address a well-known risk
  • Communication strategies that can be implemented quickly when needed
  • Examples: Communicating about contaminants regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, flushing your system, or a non-emergency Safe Drinking Water Act violation

Strategies and Tools

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Develop a communication plan

  • Each issue can have a separate communication plan
  • Planning is best done before your system has an emergency or issue
  • Purpose and objectives of communications efforts
  • Description of specific strategies/activities, who you are communicating to, and who is doing the communications
    • Everyday communications, classic and emerging issues communication and emergency communications
    • Customers, community leaders, partners (county, state)
    • Roles/responsibilities for communications
  • Evaluation – how will you know if you are successful?
  • Timeline
  • Resources
    • Past communications that worked well
    • Trusted partner contacts
    • Communication types available for your system

See Have a Plan for tips on making a communications plan to fit your needs.

Develop communications materials for customers and share your messages

Provide information to customers when there is a non-emergency contaminant issue or disruption to routine operations or service after consulting with Drinking Water Protection staff at MDH

  • Examples include a flushing event or non-emergency Safe Drinking Water Act violation.

    Public notification may be required under the Safe Drinking Water Act

  • Direct mailings and bill stuffers
  • Local newspaper
  • Local TV (e.g. record public meetings and play them)
  • News releases
  • Participate in or present at meetings and events (e.g. city council meetings, community events, home shows, business expos)
  • Knock on doors (one system has asked Boy Scouts to do this)

Provide information to customers when there is a high profile contamination issue in another system after consulting with Drinking Water Protection staff at MDH

  • Examples include Lead in Flint, MI, or another community in Minnesota affected by a contaminant

  • Local TV (e.g. record public meetings and play them)
  • News releases
Updated Wednesday, 20-Mar-2019 11:58:15 CDT