Project #39636 - public relations

Katrina reveals Good, Bad, Ugly of Media Relations . 
It's not often Jon Stewart praises the news media on his "fake news" program, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. But when hurricane Katrina Published the gulf coast in August 2005, the popular Comedy Central anchorman had no choice . It was in fact,the news medias coverage of Katrina's aftermath that altered the country- even the federal government- to the magnitude of the category 5 storm destruction. " I used to work in a bar, and there was a fat guy who just sat there and drank. One day we told him someone was stealing his car, and he ran out of the bar and beat two people with tire iron. I thought, wow that guy can move '. That's how I feel about the news media and Katrina." Katrina whipped through New Orleans on August 29 before ransacking Biloxi, Mississippi, and surrounding coastal towns. New Orleans appeared to escape the predicted devastation and until flooding on August 30 crumbled levees that protected the jazz city's precarious position below sea level. Tens of thousands of stranded New Orleans citizens were stuck in a city with high standing water , no power, no water, and no way out of town. Many spent days on their rooftops waiting to be rescued. News video showed angry, dying citizens waiting for days to be rescued. What started as another disaster story turned into a news media cry for government help. In an interview with CNN Paula Zahn , then Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael Brown admitted FEMA was not aware of how bad the situation was in New Orleans.  
Katrina exposed the nations vulnerability and disorganization at the various levels, but it also revealed a general lack of crises preparedness at the local level. Destroyed phone lines and cell towers prevented basic communication for weeks. Suddenly communication via Internet was not just useful, it was critical. Craigslist.org a popular San Francisco- based Web site known for giving people a forum to buy, sell, or just rent , became an electronic SOS. After the hurricane, Craigslist added "Katrina relief" to the sites options. The New Orleans Times Picayene published online editions only for days as the reporters worked from remote locations to produce content for the Web.  
In the midst of trying to meet short term needs, United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta recognized the long term implications of hurricane victims in the city. The non profit responsible for providing funding to dozens of local charities called in a crisis response team and immediately began working on housing , employment,and transportation solutions. One of the UWMA biggest challenges for Katrina effort was simultaneously raising money for the hurricane fund while kicking off its annual fall fundraising campaign. 

Answer the following questions: 
1) Why is the news media crucial to the coordination of disaster relief efforts ? What can it do that others, even government , cannot?
2) why would the good relationship with local news media be crucial for an emergency response organization in the wake of a disaster ? 
3) How can groups not as well known as United Way or the American Red Cross establish good relationships with the news media?
5) What would be necessary for an organization to be able to coordinate such a massive undertaking? 
6) Think of a likely crisis that could effect your city or university. As the leader  of the crisis response effort: Who would you need to involved ? What would be the 5 major issues you would need to handle? What kind of preparation before the crisis would be helpful? Necessary ?

Subject Business
Due By (Pacific Time) 09/13/2014 12:00 am
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