Podcast: Public Information for Hurricanes Harvey and Maria

Finally. As in, *finally* Thomas McKenzie’s and my schedules lined-up so we could talk about his back-to-back public information officer deployments for Hurricane Harvey, in Texas, and Hurricane Maria, in Puerto Rico, which I teased to you all last month here on the blog. Thomas and I spent a few minutes here (~28) talking about what […]

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 […]

The Accidental PIO: Karma is a Bee-eye-itch … But a Good Teacher

I was a really sneaky TV news photog. The shot was more important than anything else and my only job was to get the shot that would help tell a story. You know the kind, right? Always trying to go off on their own to get the shot that’s in their head. Pretending to listen […]

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 […]

Preparation Accounts for 90 Percent of Crisis Communication Success*

When Paul and I worked federal government communicator jobs, we had to be very careful not to endorse (or condemn!) organizations and products. Drilled into us. Became habit not to do so. Objectivity at all times, no opinion – just the facts – with our public-facing spokesmen personas. We’re not federal communicators anymore, so we’re […]

The Accidental PIO: 6 Things a Pipeline Crisis Communicator Learned about Initial Response

Note: Brandon and I are amped to introduce readers to another savvy contributor to The Crisis Communicator blog. Terri Larson is one of the only industry-side crisis comms ninjas I’ve met who’s actually logged time as an “Initial” Public Information Officer for a major spill response and did so as the Incident Command System gods […]