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 […]

Steer Toward Right: After Action Reports and Lessons from the Field

Note: A brief introduction, since this is the first  guest post (of many, we hope) from our friend and colleague Thomas McKenzie. Mac isn’t just a PIO, who spends a LOT of time in the field, but is a member of the U.S. Coast Guard’s elite Public Information Assist Team, which is a component of […]

“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 […]