Day-2 of the FEMA Basic PIO Course here in KY

Day-2 of the FEMA Basic Public Information Officer Course here.

Glad to finally meet Lexington Fire Capt Jessica Bowman who is also one of the FEMA Master PIOs.

Great day to share some of the tools we use as PIOs. Here’s Sherelle and John talking about the importance and fashionable safety vests are for officials onscene.

Additionally, we discussed media being well visible as their safety is incredibly important. We can’t have our friends in the news business get hurt or become part of the incident.

And trust me, the more people who get injured in an incident, the more paperwork we all have to fill out….so be safe!

As usual, we had a very seasoned media panel from WLEX18 Bill Wilcox and Herald Leader Peter Baniak. Many thanks to both news organizations to spend time out of their busy schedule to spend with PIOs from across the state.

With all Basic PIO classes, we talk about the ability and flexibility for PIOs to do field reporting. Often times, reporters can’t get to a scene because of traffic or lack of staffing. Either way, we as government PIOs can help them out by packaging information they need from the scene. The tools needed to produce this kind of info is fairly easy to get, however the challenge is to put them into play.

By sharing the tactics and tools in class, I am able to improve the skills of any PIO by enhancing their ability to share solid timely and TRUSTED information with any of the targeted audiences.

As PIOs, we are beholden to so many audiences.

  • Public
  • Media
  • Leadership
  • Our internal teams.

At times, our job seems easy however once you dive into it, you can see the complexities of our efforts.

Don’t worry, we reviewed all mock on camera interviews. Tackled key concepts like redirects as well as some tips on how to give more positive non-verbals while being interviewed during crisis.

Super fun day with everyone. Lots of contributions from our partners from Fire, EMS, Police, Emergency Management, Energy, Coroner’s Office, Higher Education, Search and Rescue.

Looking forward to tomorrow’s FEMA JIC/JIS course!

Reporting live from the EOC….

@rusnviek

Another solid JIC JIS course on #AlohaFriday 

Today is DHS/FEMA’s G-291: JIC/JIS planning for Tribal, State, and Local PIOs!


Lots to talk about esp coordination with various all-hazards agencies.

Also glad to share a few PIO/JIC stories on 3-girls that were missing for 10+ years as well as the 2016 NBA Championships, Republican National Convention, 2016 World Series, and 2017 NBA Championships.


On top of that, our class wanted to know more about social media so I can indulge a bit. Not only on #s, geolocation, platforms, etc….but also lots on newer wearable technology too.


As always in any class we instruct, we try to make fun and exciting. And yes, thumbs up for PIOs!


Special thanks to WTFD Capt Mike Pruitt for the coordination and hospitality.. Glad to see so many new PIOs in the audience.

Happy Aloha Friday peeps!

@rusnivek

Day-2 of FEMA Basic Public Information Officer Program

Day-2 of FEMA’s Basic Public Information Officer Couse started out with reviews of all crisis interviews.


Collaborating on communications tactics with various agencies allows PIOs to craft the right message – esp in a disaster.


Erica had a chance to share JIC efforts from the Republican National Convention.


And you know I shared some tactics and tips on ascertaining open source info utilizing geolocation/metadata during a National Special Security Event. I also chatted briefly about tools field PIOs should use when deployed out.


After lunch we were fortunate enough to hear from a great panel discussion: Indiana State Police Sgt. John Perrine, the Information Officer for central Indiana and RTV6’s Investigative reporter Paris Lewbel.


Both panelists candidly shared information with everyone attending.


Side note: Sgt John Perrine is the brains behind the truly viral PSA hit on vehicles turn signals. Check it out here.

Great to work with so many pros today.

@rusnivek

This week, we are starting another G290…

Another great start to a solid G-290: Basic PIO Course with WTFD.


Greetings and welcome to everyone in Region-5 by Capt Mike Pruitt.


Started out the morning with building a base of core PIO principals including reviewing writing that targets a specific target audience.

Photo credit: M. Pruitt

Ahem. Press releases are almost dead.

Erica talked about how critical Incident Communications Analysis plays a big part in how our audience uses/digests information.


We started all the on-camera interviews after lunch. Lots of great interviews…

Photo credit: M. Pruitt

…and solid techniques showcased in the field interview exercises…

Photo credit: M. Pruitt

…many of the participants are already functioning as PIOs within their own communities.

Photo credit: M. Pruitt

Group work in the afternoon…


…with more discussion and reporting out of critical facts while writing talking points.


We are so fortunate to have such a diverse class of participants willing to share information.

Reporting live from the most funnest PIO class ever…

@rusnivek

Brand new Social Media Engagement Strategies course debut at SAC EOC #NDPTC

Solid start to the week being able to deliver the brand new FEMA NDPTC Social Media Engagement Strategies course.


Numerous pros from across the state of California attending today.

Special thanks to the Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services in hosting this fun class in their Emergency Operations Center.

Super special shoutout goes to MayJo!


Talked specifically about addressing audiences and their appropriate platforms. Mediums like static posts are great however we need to explore outside of your comfort zone and try new avenues to communicate. FacebookLive, Periscope, InstagramLive, YouTubeLive, etc…..these new emerging live broadcast tools can allow agencies to be creative in their broadcast of messages.


Solid afternoon facilitation on the formulation of a strategic communications specifically focusing in on social media and audience engagement.


And of course the standard shout out to our friend Cheryl.


Overall, the intent of this class is really to be a catalyst to start a meaningful conversation about engaging your constituents on various social media platforms.


Obviously, you would be taking FEMA NDPTC PER-344 Social Media Tools & Techniques first – which gives you a heavy dose of the currrent tools/platforms that are out there as well as a bunch of tactics and techniques that you could use in your EOC or JIC.


Both courses provide a different take on social media actions esp during disasters / crisis.


Keep on learning peeps. Much more to digest and figure out.


We all must do better to support our local communities, county coordinators, and state officials to work and communicate together before, during, and after the disaster.


We the people right? #Merica

@rusnivek

Safety-PIO-SM-15-001: Maximize your digital real estate

15-001: Maximize your digital real estate
Agency: Sheriff Patricia Ninmann Topic(s):         Writing for Facebook
Date: 01-16-15 Platform:        Facebook

Immediate posts are important, but using valuable social media space is way more important. This was evident when this press release was plainly copied and pasted into this Sheriff’s Facebook page.

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On social media, people already know that your posts are for “immediate release” because Facebook puts your status in the timeline and then time/date stamps it for everyone. Also writing with all caps infers YELLING or SCREAMING. As public servants, we strive to bring peace to stressful situations including in messaging.

On Facebook, Sheriff’s name is listed right at the top so it isn’t necessary to repeat it again in the content. Email address in a post? Most likely, people will just click the “Comment” button below your post and respond back. They will likely not email you questions.

That space you are using is PRIME digital real estate. Do not repeat already posted information as readers will rapidly lose interest in your post. But DO write a concise and interesting status update with picture(s) to draw more interest from your audience. Remember that social media is a visual medium.

A more effective Facebook post could have read

Today, Dodge County Sheriff’s Officers responded to an auto crash with severe injury involving… <insert picture from crash>

By phrasing it this way:

  1. You identify the agency responding to the incident and the incident itself.
  2. You pull the reader in with a leading headline and help news reporters write their story.
  3. You use a picture from the incident that helps increase interest in your post.
  4. You use Facebook’s prime digital real estate in everyone’s timeline and push good information.

Time is valuable, so tweet good stuff.

@rusnivek

 

To download the one-pager, click here: Safety-PIO-SM-15-001

 

 

 

 

A lonely shortened Facebook link on Twitter – Safety-PIO-SM-14-004

14-004: A lonely shortened Facebook link on Twitter
Agency: South Central Sierra Interagency IMT Topic(s):         Shared information/update
Date: Summer 2014 Platform:        Twitter

 

Speed is primarily the reason why everyone loves social media…especially Twitter. Many agencies use social media to provide updates and information when assigned to certain incidents. That’s what the South Central Sierra Interagency Incident Management Team did during the French Fire in California when they pushed this lonely shortened Facebook link out on Twitter.

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I get that 140 character max on Twitter is short…and you have lots to say…and you don’t have time…and blah blah blah. Everyone else doesn’t have time too. But pushing a non-descript link, does raise a concern that perhaps your account has been compromised by spam bots. Your agency has worked diligently to establish solid working relationships. During an emergency is the WORST time for your audience to question and/or ignore your official accounts with trusted reliable information.

 

If your social media plan calls for directing all efforts to Facebook as the primary source of information, a Public Information Officer (PIO) should still take the time to provide a little information (like a short description) on other platforms driving the traffic to that primary source. Providing just a link is not enough.

In the PIO business, we are forced to be precise, however just providing a link pertaining to a dangerous situation or disasters will not be enough to satiate the Twittersphere’s social interest.

 

Audiences change on various social media platforms, however, many agencies *think* they are all the same.

Knowing your audience is the hallmark of success. If you pair your Facebook and Twitter accounts to save time and to pass the exact same message – you should consider separating them now. Remember, you write/post/share information differently on various social media platforms.

 

A more effective tweet could have read:

Still assigned to the French Fire here in California-Check out pictures frm @BLMNational Interagency Fire fb.me/1BV35Tytx #CAWildfire

By phrasing it this way:

  1. You have more visibility by informing your followers that your team is still assigned to the incident.
  2. The link looks less spammy and readers know what the specific content is in the link.
  3. Your #hashtag will give more information about the current overall disaster/emergency.
  4. Your readers are likely to click on this hyperlink because it will take them to a picture. People love pictures.
  5. Your agency shows coordinated efforts with national response agencies when you use @mentions on twitter.

 

Time is valuable, so tweet good stuff.

 

@rusnivek

 

***To download this as a single-page printable format, click this: ALonelyShortenedFacebookLinkOnTwitter-Safety-PIO-SM-14-004a

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@rusnivek’s Top-6 Public Safety / PIO social media tip-2 …for free

@rusnivek’s Top-6 Public Safety / PIO Social Media tips…for free

Again, I need to provide you more public safety social media tips. And since you have very little time in the day to spare, maybe you can read this while going down the elevator. Again, I’ll keep it short.

Here’s part-2 of my top 6 SM tips for public safety professionals / Public Information Officers (PIOs). And yes, it’s still free for you.

@rusnivek Social Media Tip-2: Every post, every avenue, every audience…anytime.

With so many different avenues of social media, one person cannot conceivably keep up with every emerging new program.

Pick a few platforms that work for you and that your audience mainly uses and post. Make it pertinent to your mission, make those posts reflect your organization’s objectives and goals, but most importantly, feed it.

Don’t be such a stickler about posting every day at the same bat time, at same bat place, on the same bat things. Change it up make your audience crave your info and make them check your feed incessantly for information they need.

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During an emergency, don’t just decide “Oh now is the time we should start to…”

STOP <SMH>  cause you are already dead in the water. #FAIL

So feed it anytime. It only takes a few minutes to feed it. Do it now.

Tip-2: Every post, every avenue, every audience…anytime.

@rusnivek