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The Need for Speed

With Twitter and live video streaming from mobile phones, it’s harder than ever to be out in front with information. But we should aim to be the first to provide public health information. Here’s why:

If we don’t fill the information void, someone else will.
There are plenty of bystanders, bloggers, self-proclaimed experts, and tweeters who are willing to dispense information. Credible sources need to reach the public before the information void is filled by rumors and speculation.
The public judges your ability to respond by how quickly you send out information.
A speedy response indicates that a system is in place, that you're prepared to handle the emergency, and that needed action is being taken.
The first message the public receives will define the issue.
All other messages will be weighed against what people heard first. If your message isn’t out there early, you’ll be playing catch-up—trying to correct misinformation instead of framing the issue.