Abstract: This short discussion paper is based on our collaborative and ongoing research into crisis and disaster management and its intersection with the role of politicians in communicating with various publics before, during and after crises and disasters. It is designed to translate our recently-published research into practical guidance for a broad range of policy officials with different backgrounds and experiences as well as different roles in issues, crisis and disaster management. The discussion paper is geared towards policy officials in federal and state or territory governments with roles in (a) issues, crisis and disaster management (b) communications (internal and external) (c) media liaison and (d) ministerial and departmental liaison. In it we discuss how to optimise the role of politicians in communicating with various publics at different stages of disasters. It also provides guidance on how relationships with political leaders can be fostered and maintained.