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 […]

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 […]

The Most Important Position in a Joint Information Center

Conventional response doctrine says that when staffing the Joint Information Center, the most qualified or experienced communicator in a unified response organization should fill the role of Public Information Officer – the 2nd most qualified fills the JIC Manager (or Assistant PIO) role and so on, so forth. But in our experience, the JIC Manager […]

JIC Status Board Specialists: Librarians of Organized Chaos

A Joint Information Center operating at full tilt is a precise and frantic thing: Information flows up through the phone lines in the form of complex questions, community queries and downright pointed accusations. Reports and notifications from the different cells of the Incident Command Post are routed through the Public Information Officer to the JIC […]