Day-1 of the Advanced PIO class at FEMA’s EMI! #MPIO

Starting out the Advanced PIO class week with the big cheese – a warm EMI welcome from the new FEMA EMI Deputy Superintendent Steve Heidecker!

My buddy!

Phil laying down the usual ground rules like…

  • Don’t look for Camp David.
  • Don’t open windows.
  • Don’t touch helos.
  • Don’t break anything.

And yes, today, I was fortunate enough to introduce my favorite Indianapolis Fire Department Batt Chief/PIO Extraordinaire….Ladies and Gents….put your hands together for BC Rita Reith!!!!!

Glad to see so many of my former students come here to FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute for more training. And they get to hear my same PIO instructor jokes again.

PC: Cody McDonell

PC: Cody McDonell

And great to meet so many of online peeps for the very first time aka #IRL. Yes of course there will be lots of tweeting and #hastagging going on this week.

You in my class? Holla yo!

Reporting live from FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute’s Advanced Public Information Officers class…

@rusnivek

 

Um, is that a #Fire #Hydrant #condom? #Firefighter

Sooooo, is this like a winter condom for your fire hydrant?

Glow in the dark reflective so you can find it better in the dark!!!

I love the extra effort people make to support their local fire department.

#SafetySur approves!

@rusnivek

 

Technical jargon and giving actionable information Safety-PIO-SM-14-006

14-006: Technical jargon and giving actionable information
Agency: Chicago Fire Department Topic(s): Industry codes / Actionable info
Date: Fall 2014 Platform: Twitter

Industry speak or technical jargon is part of what we do every day. But using technical terms on a social media platform will be confusing to those who are NOT in the fire service. That’s what the Chicago Fire Department did yesterday at their big 3-alarm fire when they tweeted technical jargon.

imageaimage

The use of technical jargon is rampant in emergency services but when speaking to the media or the general public, we need to remember that everyone did not grow up with a VOX alarm or SCU tones. In this case, a “311” or 3-11 alarm means that there are 11 engines, 5 Trucks, 2 Tower Ladders, 6 Battalion Chiefs, 1 Rescue Squad, 2 Ambulances, 2 Paramedic Chiefs, Deputy District Chief, Deputy Fire Commissioner, and the 1st Deputy Fire Commissioner are onscene. There is no way to include all that information in a tweet, but using more simple terms will help your audience understand the scale of your ongoing incident.

Before you post images, make sure your pictures are rotated correctly. I know accuracy is sometimes overlooked in lieu of speed, but it takes less than 5 seconds to orientate/rotate a picture (In this case, it was going to be a long operation). And note, by just rotating a picture does not equate that you are “doctoring up” photos. But a correctly posted photo will help media repost and format your information quicker to the masses.

During an emergency situation, your constituents need the information pushes to be actionable and specific to your audience. Not only inform them of the danger, but tell them what they can do about it.

A more effective tweet could have read:

Chicago Fire: Large 3-alarm fire at Harrison St x Fifth Ave. Traffic delays-avoid the area. (insert two pictures)

By phrasing it this way:

  1. You cite the authority having jurisdiction and established incident command presence.
  2. You generally described the size/category of the ongoing incident and critical information to media.
  3. You identify the exact location of the incident.
  4. You describe the delays in the area and give actionable information to your constituents.
  5. You still have lots of room to push properly orientated pictures with your informational tweet.

 

Time is valuable, so tweet good stuff.

@rusnivek

***To download this as a single-page printable format, click this file:

TechnicalJargonAndGivingActionableInformation-Safety-PIO-SM-14-006