During a Crisis: Media Operations Center

Checklist 2 min
Use this checklist to carry out the responsibilities of the Media Operations Center (MOC).

When a crisis occurs, the Crisis Action Team (CAT) may opt to stand up a Media Operations Center (MOC). The purpose of the MOC is to answer media questions and coordinate movement of media to the crisis scene, medical recovery areas and other areas of interest to the media.

Use this checklist if you are assigned to the MOC during a crisis. Check with your unit to verify that there are no other specific, essential duties required.

  1. Establish whether the location for the MOC will be in the unit control center or relocated
  2. If the MOC is relocated outside of the unit control center, gather materials for relocation, including:
    1. Media center response kit
    2. Cell phone
    3. Extra fax machine
  3. Establish communications with other team members
  4. Warm up the MOC center:
    1. Verify that the phone works by performing line checks
    2. Install fax machine, if available
    3. Set up office spaces for the media operating area with desks, chairs, trash cans, etc.
    4. Post directions or informational signs, if necessary
    5. Arrange for food and beverage support, if needed
    6. Ensure restroom facilities are available
    7. Place media kits in an accessible area
  5. Provide escorts to all media coming onto the installation
  6. Check-in media upon arrival:
    1. Credential media upon arrival – log in time, name, organization, editor, contact and fax numbers, email, etc.
    2. If non-credentialed media arrives, call the representative's stated outlet to confirm the reporter is bona fide media
    3. Provide a media kit and all current press/news releases
    4. Go over ground rules prior to briefings
  7. Coordinate media briefings and site visits:
    1. Once the on-scene commander has granted approval for the media to be on scene, determine if any additional support is needed to handle them
    2. Determine whether on-site classified or hazardous material is present at the scene from EOC
    3. Check on-scene PA location on a map
    4. Verify with the EOC PA representative that the route to the scene will not pass through cordons or downwind of a fire or toxic chemical spill
  8. Prepare for the press conference:
    1. Set up the press conference room for briefing (podium, flag, lighting, seating)
    2. Prep a minimum of one senior command leader and one subject matter expert (SME) for interviews
    3. During the press conference, brief media on press conference ground rules
    4. Read the latest release for camera interviews
    5. Take follow-up material for CAT PA to task and complete response to queries (RTQs)
  9. Support ongoing operations:
    1. Establish rotation schedule with CAT
    2. Log expenses, including food and beverage deliveries from services
    3. Update media every hour during an active crisis and on a four-hour interval during inactive activities
  10. When the CAT PA directs the shutdown of the MOC, return to normal operations, including:
    1. Reconfigure room to its original setup
    2. Return all equipment and supplies to the office
  11. Notify senior leadership and PAO of MOC deactivation