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 […]

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 […]

Ten Years After: How Katrina Made Me a Better Crisis Responder

I’d love to change the world But, I don’t know what to do So, I’ll leave it up to you Note: This piece is the second 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 […]

6 Reasons New Orleans Loves the Coast Guard, 10 Years Later

Note: This was adapted from a piece published in March 2014, called “Silver Linings, Federal Response to Katrina,” and is the first of four pieces we’ve put together for the 10-year anniversary of Katrina. Brandon 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 […]

The Better Way to Give Affected Masses Crisis Info

Here’s today’s public service announcement from me to you: if you have bad news or risk information to communicate to people affected by crisis, don’t ever (ever, ever, EVER) choose to hold a town hall meeting to do so. Some people look at me like I’m crazy when I say this – even veteran communicators – so […]

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 […]