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 […]

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 […]

PIO Tips for “Staying Frosty” During Disaster Response

I’ve written on this subject in the past but with Hurricane Matthew being nigh and many of my former public information officer colleagues setting up in its path (or waiting for the call to do so,) I thought I’d re-rack a version of a post I wrote two years ago about some of the intangible lessons I […]