Communication Theories: The Elegant Mess of Human Speech

I learned from an early age that the sincere applications of “please” and “thank you” are the best tools with which to diffuse potentially hostile personal encounters on a day-to-day basis. That’s basic Jedi stuff. No one likes being stepped on or disrespected. (Especially not in public.) But smiling doesn’t get you very far when […]

Media Relations Specialists – The Canary in the Coal Mine

BLUF: If your organization doesn’t aggressively organize response-based information gathering and analysis efforts, you’ll lose the ability right out of the gate to accurately track the tempo and temperature of public and media interest, understand where best to direct your future communication efforts and focus your speaker preparation work. In 1986, the practice of using […]

Vigilance Vital for Established Crisis Comm Plans, Reputation

“A rat doesn’t care who you are or how nice your house is – if he wants to get in, he’s gonna get in,” my new friend, Mike, said to me the other day. Mike was being literal, not figurative. Mike gets rats – and squirrels and raccoons and who knows what else – out […]

On-Camera Interviews: Surviving the Black Circle

BLUF: When it comes to giving interviews, you can’t practice enough. In the course of my duties, I provide on-camera technique training to hazard response professionals several times a year. When I ask about their prior media experiences, the most common complaint is, “The media take my words out of context.” (Fair enough, more on […]

Fact Gathering Specialists – The Nuance of Information Collection

I was recently invited to coach and evaluate the workings of a Joint Information Center (JIC) at a large-scale exercise in a magical Southern land where it’s always sunny, the food is beyond amazing and each sip of Cuban espresso is like the “quickening” scene from the first Highlander movie. Here’s what I observed about […]