Freedom of Action and Aspects of The Bad Thing

I’m going to talk (type; whatever) about some different aspects of a critical incident response – or, as I’m fond of calling them, the Bad Things. The lifespan of the Bad Things during a crisis tends to have a beginning, middle and end – and, typically, there’s a relationship between them. First Aspect: Freedom of […]

Packing for Pear-Shaped: What to Bring to “The Big Uh-Oh”

When my team shows up, something has probably gone very wrong – but we’re at least equipped to deal with it.” I was the first one on the conference call. I hate conference calls. I jotted down the date and time in my notebook and a few things I wanted to ask while I waited […]

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 […]

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 […]