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EKO - Effective communication in crisis

Published: 14 December 2011

How can the municipality reach as many as possible, as fast as possible, if the tapwater becomes undrinkable? The aim of the project "Effective communication in crisis: From crisis to control" (EKO), which ran 2011-2013, is to develop a service demonstrator for effective and coordinated communication in crisis situations.

Management of crises in drinking-water supplies has become a highly topical issue for the country's municipalities. This type of crises affect many people, often during a long time, and effective communication is essential to limit the effects of the crisis. Several actors are involved and many different channels need to be coordinated in the crisis communication. In addition, through social media, citizens today play an active role in the dissemination of information. Thus, municipalities face the challenges of controlling and coordinating external and internal information dissemination during crisis.

The purpose of the project EKO is to develop a service demonstrator describing how municipalities’ internal and external crisis communication, through various channels, can be streamlined and coordinated in order to decrease the impact of the crisis. The service demonstrator will be developed based on standard software. By using existing systems and applications, the solution can be developed in a cost-effective manner.

This project will describe the citizens’ and municipal employees' needs, behaviours and attitudes related to crisis communication, and provide suggestions for how different target groups should be informed. The project is based on a crisis of drinking-water supplies, but the potential solution could also be applied to other types of crises. EKO is partially funded by VINNOV and is a joint effort between municipalities (Stockholm, Skellefteå, and Östersund), County Council of Västerbotten, the National Food Administration, researchers (Industrial Marketing and e-Commerce Research Group at Luleå University of Technology, Industrial Marketing at Royal Institute of Technology), and a service provider (Microsoft).