AWARDS

EMPA Australia Awards for Excellence in Communication

The Annual EMPA Awards for Excellence in Emergency Communication have been established to recognise those who have made a significant contribution to emergency communications in Australia.

The Australian EMPA Awards for 2021 was presented at the conference dinner on Thursday 12th May 2022

2022 AWARDS SUBMISSIONS (for the period 1 March 2021 – 31 March 2022) OPENING SOON

EMPA Principles of Communication in Disaster and Emergency

1. THE SEAT AT THE TABLE
Systems and Structures

Excellent communication is central to excellent operations. Communicators need a seat at the table and a voice in strategic decision making. They should understand, support, and influence operational objectives.

2. STRATEGIC MESSAGING
Connection and Credibility

Effective disaster communication requires a rigorous strategic process. We must do far more than transmit accurate data. We must understand why we speak. We must understand those we are speaking with. We must listen to ensure that we have been heard, understood, and believed. 

3. COMMUNITY FOCUSSED COMMUNICATION

People are the primary focus. We need to work with communities. We need to build communication policy, plans and practice that truly acknowledge the community’s capacity and complexity, their perspectives and priorities.

4. CREATING CONNECTIONS
Integrating Efforts 

Emergencies break things apart. A key responsibility for emergency communicators is to create and strengthen the links between teams, organisations, groups, and individuals.

5. CREATING NETWORKS
Connecting Stakeholders

Disaster impacts whole communities. It is fundamental to effective emergency communication, to create networks between emergency response agencies, government and the private sector so that we can work together to help the community prepare, respond and recover.

6. WORKING WITH MEDIA AND SOCIAL MEDIA PROVIDERS – Liaison to Collaboration 

Media agencies, journalists and those who work on social media to collect and create content, are our partners in disaster communication. We should move beyond liaison to develop trusted relationships and effectively collaborate to support, guide and empower those impacted.

7. BUILDING TEAMS
Creating Capacity

There is much to be done. We need to resource and build scalable and adaptable teams of skilled communication practitioners. We need to prepare them, build their capacity, and work to ensure their well-being.

CATEGORIES

For emergency communication – Readiness and Resilience

A project or activity that contributes to improved community preparedness and / or resilience.

For emergency communication – Response

Communicating effectively during an emergency response.

For emergency communication – Recovery

Supporting the recovery of a community impacted by an emergency.

For emergency communication – Research

Improving community preparedness and/or resilience

Increasing the effectiveness of communication during an emergency response;

Enabling agencies to better support communities recovering from an adverse event.

For emergency communication – Media

In-depth and balanced coverage of a topic that increases public understanding of a hazard or an emergency response.

Comprehensive and accurate reporting before or during an emergency response, contributing to public safety.

For emergency communication – Readiness and Resilience

A project or activity that contributes to improved community preparedness and / or resilience.

For emergency communication – Response

Communicating effectively during an emergency response.

For emergency communication – Recovery

Supporting the recovery of a community impacted by an emergency.

For emergency communication – Research 

Improving community preparedness and/or resilience

Increasing the effectiveness of communication during an emergency response;

Enabling agencies to better support communities recovering from an adverse event.

For emergency communication – Media

In-depth and balanced coverage of a topic that increases public understanding of a hazard or an emergency response.

Comprehensive and accurate reporting before or during an emergency response, contributing to public safety.

ELIGIBILITY

The EMPA Awards are open to:

    • All who make an active contribution to emergency management in Australia in any capacity, provided that their activity is directly associated with communication / public information.
    • Students, tutors or teaching staff in any accredited tertiary institution, whose research is directly related to emergency management in Australia.
    • Journalists, including freelancers, who report on hazards and/or emergency responses in Australia.
    • Individuals, teams and organisations are all eligible for nomination.
    • The project, activity, research or coverage which is the subject of the nomination must be contemporary in nature, e.g. carried out or substantially completed within the previous 12-24 months, ending: 31 March 2022 
    • For media, the material must have been published/broadcast within the 12 months ending: 31 March 2022

NB: Fellows of EMPA are ineligible to be nominated as individuals. Teams which include Fellows, or organisations which employ them, are eligible for nomination.

JUDGING

    • A panel including EMPA Fellows will judge each category.
    • The judges may, at their sole discretion, make inquiries or request additional information to verify or confirm any aspect of any entry. Notwithstanding, it is the responsibility of each nominee to ensure that their entry provides sufficient information and supporting evidence to enable a complete assessment to be made.
    • Where there are enough entries in a category, the judges may at their sole discretion choose a runner-up and / or highly commend one or more nominees.
    • If in the opinion of the judges there is no nomination of a sufficient standard to warrant an award in a category, the judges may decline to make an award in that category, or may commend an entry without announcing it as the winner.
    • The decision of the judges is final.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Each entry must:

  1. Be made on the official online entry form (link coming soon).
  2. Provide sufficient information and additional supporting evidence (up to 5 file attachments) to clearly explain the intention and scope of the activity or project, and what it achieved.