#10 Communicating Emergency Response Plans

Getting people on board is one of the biggest challenges in developing a plan that affects everyone across an organisation, your potential working practices and stakeholders.

woman addresses a crowd at a public gathering
Culture Declares Emergency launch event, Southbank, London

The process outlined in this toolkit is not like typical sustainability plans, as it acknowledges that this emergency is an unprecedented state of planetary distress. Communicating these realities will be distressing to some, and many will respond with a form of denial including:

  • Denial that there is an emergency caused by industrial activities such as fossil fuel consumption
  • Not seeing the impacts as being a problem for our country or organisation to take responsibility for
  • Minimising the problem or pushing it further into the future
  • Therapeutic responses, such as only taking on a small task, expressing pride in it and repeating it
  • Rushing to action around a particular viewpoint, and using logic to convince others without hearing wider implications.

Many people tend not to read documents unless some aspect of their role is at stake, and especially are unlikely to read anything that triggers these denial responses. They will take more on board if:

  • you have conversations 
  • graphically or practically show what you are doing, 
  • show how it matters for them and their own lives, and 
  • appeal for their help. 
A group of speakers sit on a stage with microphones, one speaker in the foreground is surrounded by plants
Act Now event by CDE Hannover / Photo by Mark Muehlhaus


How will we communicate our plans with teams, clients and audiences?

  • Who do we need to bring on board?
  • What do we want them to do to enact this plan?
  • How will each group or person best engage with messages?


Use this guidance on Climate Conscious Branding.

See this growing list of networks for climate and nature, some of which you might join to amplify your work or to learn more. 

Arts Council England in its Environmental Responsibility guidance suggests the following:

  • The presentation of purposeful work, practice, programming or conversations that highlight what you do about environmental responsibility. 
  • Active membership and/or leadership in climate-related networks or groups.
  • Relevant training or learning experiences for your staff, governing body, stakeholders and audiences.
  • You profile and celebrate your own and others’ excellent environmental practices.
The Birmingham Rep team stand outside of their building holding a large blue Culture Declares banner
Birmingham Rep declares emergency

Continue working through the guide

Culture Takes Action: Tools for an Emergency Response


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