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 […]

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

This is the first entry in a three-part series on what it’s like being deployed as a crisis incident public information officer. This entry covers the preparatory phase of incident response operations. When I met up for coffee with my friend and colleague Thomas McKenzie a few weeks ago, his black backpack had a wavy, […]

Communicating Transparency During the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

I recently spoke at a two-day all-hazard crisis incident response seminar in Berkeley, Calif., titled, “Thriving in the First 96 Hours.” Among other activities, I took part in a leadership panel to field questions about crisis communications. This post, and others, is adapted from my short responses to questions on the topic asked before and during […]

Information and Facts, Two Great Things that Go Great Together

In·for·ma·tion /infərˈmāSHən/ noun: knowledge that you get about someone or something; the communication or receiving of knowledge or intelligence. Fact /fakt/ noun: something that actually exists; reality; a truth verifiable from experience or observation. A common thread running through our profession is that the simplest of concepts are often overlooked or taken for granted. That’s bad news for organizations responding to emergencies and crises, (but good […]

Guns, Drinking Water and Antiterrorism in the Midwest

tl;dr – If there’s a possibility that something your organization is about to do will lead to perceived risks from stakeholders outside the organization, you need to have a risk communication and outreach plan in place before going forward with your operational plan. Americans used the phrase “the new normalcy” to describe how things had […]