How to Build a Virtual Toolbox for Disaster Response

Being a public information officer for an organization with a diverse array of nearly a dozen distinct missions made every day exciting. On any given day, I might be talking to the media and stakeholders about maritime search and rescue and law enforcement, chemical and petroleum environmental pollution response or how icebergs in the North […]

Crisis Planning: 6 Steps to Getting Buy-In from the Boss

I was contacted by a new colleague recently who was lamenting the lack of interest in crisis planning demonstrated by his C-suite managers. It’s true that of all the operations for which managers are responsible, assigning time, money, resources and “stress equity” to preparing for doomsday scenarios is an easy priority to put in the […]

5 Things Every College Comms Major Should Hear

This spring I filled in as an affiliate professor, teaching Intro to Public Relations, at Loyola University in Baltimore. The department chair seemed sheepish at the prospect of asking someone with my experience to teach the basics to freshmen, “I understand this may be rudimentary and not very interesting for you, but we could use […]

10 Crisis Comms Planning Tips for Hurricane Season

Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1 (apparently, Ana didn’t get the memo), and U.S. National Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 24-30. If you live and work near the U.S. east or gulf coasts, or in the Caribbean, preparedness week is a good time not only to make sure that you’re prepared in general, but also that you’re prepared […]

6 Reasons People Say Bad Things About You

“Yeah, Well, You Know, That’s Just, Like, Your Opinion, Man.” * The American news media has always been about recording, contextualizing and transmitting opinions to readers, listeners and viewers. It’s nothing new. The thirst for opinion is so real, that many organizations stress to their spokespeople to “just stick to the facts” when giving interviews. […]