Case Study

Nuclear Plant Gets Drilled on Crisis Management If a nuclear disaster strikes, the South Texas Project (STP) - the country's second largest nuclear plant - proved it can disseminate timely, accurate news within an hour, earning FEMA's highest crisis communications rating. FEMA drills, which occur every other year, thrust nuclear plant communicators into a variety of crisis scenarios. In its most recent drill earlier this year, STP communicators demonstrated how they would manage a contamination scenario using keen message development skills, synchronized teamwork and media ambush strategies. In disaster situations, half the battle is diluting highly technical nuclear issues into layman's terms, says Eileen Wixted, a partner with Wixted* Pope*Nora & Associates, a strategic planning agency in Des Moines, Iowa, that provides crisis training for STP. Providing thorough explanations of scary terms like radiation and contamination is critical to putting a nuclear crisis in its proper context.

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