Steer Toward Right: After Action Reports and Lessons from the Field

Note: A brief introduction, since this is the first  guest post (of many, we hope) from our friend and colleague Thomas McKenzie. Mac isn’t just a PIO, who spends a LOT of time in the field, but is a member of the U.S. Coast Guard’s elite Public Information Assist Team, which is a component of […]

“Run Hide Fight”: #SMEM During the Ohio State University Attack

When a then-unidentified man used his vehicle as a weapon on the campus of the Ohio State University Monday, then got out of it and attacked people with a knife, authorities acted quickly: both the first responders who stopped the violence within minutes and school officials responsible for ensuring the safety of students, faculty, staff […]

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 […]