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 […]

Crisis and Risk Communication and the Flint Water Crisis

I have to assume (from the fact that you’re reading this blog) that you, too, have been following the Flint, Mich., water crisis (#FlintWaterCrisis is a good place to start, if not). It has been changing every day and is a textbook example of a crisis and risk communication case study: a mid-sized, mostly poor, […]

Talking Points are a Guide, Not a Script

A public information officer colleague returned from a recent disaster incident deployment and gave me the lowdown on how the job went. Turned out it could’ve been better! A particular low point for my friend came when he was demobilizing and had a short exit interview/debrief with the incident commander, focusing on his team’s contributions. […]