A View from the Other Side: An Evacuated JIC Manager

  Allow us to introduce (and welcome) Sheri Benninghoven, APR, to The Crisis Communicator. Sheri is a Santa Barbara-based principal at SAE Communications and specializes in strategic and crisis communications planning, counsel and implementation for local governments and higher education institutions. In her past life she was a PIO for the city of Anaheim and the League of California […]

Characteristics of Personal Messages vs. Staff-Written Messages

Friend, colleague and fellow professional communicator Chris Evanson sent me a note the other day with the suggestion for this piece – the importance of sometimes fighting the urge to use a staff-written statement to communicate with highly concerned people during times of crisis or emergency. Whether it’s delivered in writing, via media interview or […]

Public Information Officer Hurricane Response Lessons Learned

A couple of months ago Thomas McKenzie – friend, colleague and frequent contributor here – and I were kicking around ideas for adding a podcast element to this blog. Days later he was deployed to Houston, then Corpus Christi for about three weeks of Hurricane Harvey incident response work. During and after that deployment we […]

SMEM vs. Cabin Fever

Millions of people have been affected by the blizzard that hit the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region during the weekend, with the storm’s after-effects still being felt days after the last snowflake fell. Here, in Virginia’s Hampton Roads region, schools and local government offices are closed, hazardous driving conditions persist on secondary roads and emergency managers are busy […]

“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 […]