PIO Tips for “Staying Frosty” During Disaster Response

I’ve written on this subject in the past but with Hurricane Matthew being nigh and many of my former public information officer colleagues setting up in its path (or waiting for the call to do so,) I thought I’d re-rack a version of a post I wrote two years ago about some of the intangible lessons I […]

Recovering from Disaster: 5 Communication Strategies

Brandon and I spent decades preparing for and responding to all manner of critical incidents and disasters as federal public information officers. When we weren’t preparing or responding, we were teaching others to prepare and respond. When we weren’t preparing or responding or teaching others to prepare and respond, we were getting phone calls, emails […]

Recognizing a Crisis Before it Becomes a Crisis

It’s a well known (and accurate) adage among crisis managers that success in responding to crisis is 90 percent in the planning and preparation. I don’t know if I agree 100 percent with the 90 percent mark but it’s pretty close. What isn’t as commonly understood is that a considerable portion of that last 10 […]

11 Preparedness Tips for Atlantic Hurricane Season

Atlantic hurricane season started today and lasts through November 30. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting that there is a 70 percent chance for 10-16 named storms this year, with 1-4 of them being major hurricanes. If you live and work near the U.S. east or gulf coasts, or in the Caribbean, you should […]

Joint Information Center Management: Equal Parts Ringmaster, Octopus, Psychic

Howdy Folks! It’s a brand new day here in Crisis Commsville, and you’ve just been named Public Information Officer (PIO) of a large-scale incident. Congrats! Hopefully, your first job isn’t tearing the dust-covered shrink-wrap off that ol’ Joint Information Center (JIC) Model. Okay, now what? Let me guess … your phones are ringing incessantly and […]

Managing Negativity and Rumors During Crisis

A 9/11 researcher interviewed me the other day to ask questions about my personal and professional experience in Manhattan on that day. At one point, we talked a bit about the phenomenon of people coming up with alternate theories about the terrorist attacks. OK. I’ll just say it: He wanted to know what I think […]