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 […]

Denying Your Organization’s Issues Can Lead to Crisis

Paul wrote about the difference between issues and emergencies in one part of our Crisis Comms 101 series, and he defined issues because they’re, “… a ‘base element’ (which are) the fertile ground from which crises grow.” If your organization has unresolved issues that are the source of concern, confusion or anger amongst your stakeholders, one of […]