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 […]

Crisis and Risk Communication and the Flint Water Crisis

I have to assume (from the fact that you’re reading this blog) that you, too, have been following the Flint, Mich., water crisis (#FlintWaterCrisis is a good place to start, if not). It has been changing every day and is a textbook example of a crisis and risk communication case study: a mid-sized, mostly poor, […]

Disaster Response; the Public Info Officer’s Perspective (Part 1)

Crude oil train accidents in North America have been making headlines the last few years and early this year I “debriefed” my public information officer friend, Thomas, after he returned from a deployment to one of these incidents. He and his crisis communication team had some challenges, to say the least. This piece comes in […]

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 […]

Disaster Response; the Public Info Officer’s Perspective (Part 3)

This is the third entry in a three-part series on what it’s like being deployed as a crisis incident public information officer. The first entry covered the preparatory phase of incident response operations, and the second covered what it’s like once on-scene at an incident. This entry focuses on lessons learned from the incident. What […]

Disaster Response; the Public Info Officer’s Perspective (Part 2)

This is the second entry in a three-part series on what it’s like being deployed as a crisis incident public information officer. The first entry covered the preparatory phase of incident response operations, and this one covers what it’s like once on-scene at a particular incident. Public information officer Thomas McKenzie and crew immediately reported […]