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

FEMA Basic PIO – day 2 with media!

Day-2 of the FEMA Basic PIO course here at DuPage County OHSEM and I wanted to pay my respects…..I mean focus in a bit on press releases.

While just one tool in the tool box, press releases were the primary way to get the info out to media partners about 15 years ago.

Yes, don’t ask. I remember writing my first press release. And no, it wasn’t good.

I am old AF.

However, we wanted to share the dangers of writing bad press releases…so I opted to share one of my favorite ones from Cleveland.

Thanks LeBron.

Mid-morning stop as we open our class up for our media panel.

(L to R)

Daily Herald (@dailyherald) Justin Kmitch (@JustinKmitchDH)

NBC Chicago (@NBCChicago) Chris Coffey (@ChrisCoffeyNBC)

WGN News (@WGNNews) Shannon Halligan (@ShanHalligan)

Lots of discussion including field PIO questions, staging areas, no comment, availability, and of course the dreaded “off the record” conversation. These kinds of conversations are incredibly important as we continue to network with others and enhance our relationships with our partners in the media. Also tweeting from the front of the class is totally acceptable too.

We also had some discussion about the outstanding work that the Aurora Police Department did during their active shooter incident in February. Kudos to all involved including the six new Police PIOs who were immediately pressed into service on their first day of being PIOs.

Literally “Learn it today, use it this afternoon.”

I’ve heard some great panel discussions, but the straight forward information in this panel was refreshing and honest.

I even pressed – if a PIO says to you “No comment” how does that make you feel? Justin’s comment was poignant and worth hearing.

Stay tuned for that interview to be published on #MediaMinutes.

We closed out the day reviewing the interviews and had solid conversations around social media.

Special thanks to our Media Panel guests from the media,

Outstanding class with all our participants!

@rusnivek