Joint Information Center Management: Equal Parts Ringmaster, Octopus, Psychic

Howdy Folks! It’s a brand new day here in Crisis Commsville, and you’ve just been named Public Information Officer (PIO) of a large-scale incident. Congrats! Hopefully, your first job isn’t tearing the dust-covered shrink-wrap off that ol’ Joint Information Center (JIC) Model. Okay, now what? Let me guess … your phones are ringing incessantly and […]

Four characteristics of effective messages

Happy Monday! We’re continuing our countdown of the Top 10 Most Read Pieces of 2015, and we’re halfway to number 1. Coming in at #5 is this piece Paul published almost a year ago, which has been a regular landing spot since then for people visiting the blog. Probably because it’s really good. Enjoy, and […]

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 […]

5 Things Every College Comms Major Should Hear

This spring I filled in as an affiliate professor, teaching Intro to Public Relations, at Loyola University in Baltimore. The department chair seemed sheepish at the prospect of asking someone with my experience to teach the basics to freshmen, “I understand this may be rudimentary and not very interesting for you, but we could use […]

Just Breathe, It’s Only Communication

Communicating is one of the most fundamental of human activities and the simplest of human processes, next to breathing. We begin communicating the second we leave the womb and, in many cases, before that with a kick or a stir. We communicate in much the same way that we breathe, without thinking much about it. […]

Death, Taxes, Crisis in 2014

This past year reinforced the ongoing need for solid crisis management strategy and communication planning, regardless of what your organization does. I didn’t attribute this quote because in our community, as far as I can tell, this is essentially a cliché. It’s cliché because if my great, great grand pappy (conceptually pictured here) were a […]

Four characteristics of effective messages

What’s the message? Doesn’t really matter whether you’re in crisis communications, marketing or an in-house corporate communication office – you’ve heard this question before, and probably asked it too. If your experience is like mine, there are no shortage of answers (from qualified sources and otherwise,) but it’s the next question that gets us hung up […]