Recovering from Disaster: 5 Communication Strategies

Brandon and I spent decades preparing for and responding to all manner of critical incidents and disasters as federal public information officers. When we weren’t preparing or responding, we were teaching others to prepare and respond. When we weren’t preparing or responding or teaching others to prepare and respond, we were getting phone calls, emails […]

Managing Negativity and Rumors During Crisis

A 9/11 researcher interviewed me the other day to ask questions about my personal and professional experience in Manhattan on that day. At one point, we talked a bit about the phenomenon of people coming up with alternate theories about the terrorist attacks. OK. I’ll just say it: He wanted to know what I think […]

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 […]

How to Open Your House

We’re in the midst of counting down the blog’s greatest hits, with the Top 10 Most Read Pieces of 2015. We’ve got a thing for conducting productive community relations during crises, so it’s nice to see that this entry from guest blogger extraordinaire Mariana O’Leary was well-received when we published it a few months ago. […]

Katrina’s Environmental Catastrophe (That You Probably Never Heard Of)

Note: This piece is the last of four we’ve put together for the 10-year anniversary of Katrina. Paul and I reported to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Public Information Assist Team the summer of 2005. Our team was in the disaster zone from Aug. 28, the day before landfall, until Feb. 8.  It’s difficult to celebrate any kind of “anniversary” for the recovery phase […]

How to Open Your House

Think of what it would take to throw a large wedding, where the entire town is invited, in a short amount of time. You’ll need a team to divide and conquer the following: