NEO Public Information Officer quarterly training with WKYC 

Great to see the leadership at WKYC (NBC affiliate) for hosting our quarterly NorthEast Ohio’s (NEO) Public Information Officer (PIO) training!

Photo credit: K. Hyson, Cincinnati Health Department

Lots of discussion based around media relations focusing on timely and accurate reporting. Additionally, lots of conversation with good stories vs bad stories – which challenges the typical paradigm of news media’s “If it bleeds, it leads!” mantra.


“Off the record” conversation as well as immediate notification of incident dominated the early part of our conversation.

We moved into how strategy sometimes gets in the way of real emergencies and of course how our PIO narratives sometimes conflicts with how the story is produced.


To me, I was also surprised at how many reporters wanted txt msgs as compared to phone calls. In fact, desk assignment editors wanted a mention as well as a follow-up txt or notification of ongoing emerging issue.


I am very greatful to be able to have candid conversation with our partners in the media. And yes, sharing success stories as well as challenges will allow us to do a better job with our local media to communicate our safety messages. Very glad to hear that getting the story right is still the main drive of our local news agencies.

Many thanks to the pros at WKYC (NBC affiliate) Cleveland for the hospitality and generosity.


Reporting live from WKYC…

@rusnivek

Day-3 Ohio EMA ICS 300 course with 911 PSAP & Belmont County EMA EOC

Third and final day of the Ohio EMA ICS-300 course at Belmont College.

PhotoCredit: @BelmontCollege

PhotoCredit: @BelmontCollege

Mid morning, we had lots of great discussion for formal demobilization plans as well priority release procedures.

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Our class had some serious discussion on cost vs expectations on resources. If you’ve ever been deployed to a disaster, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Rounding out to the last module, almost test time!

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After the class was over, I was able to score a visit to Belmont County 911 dispatch center for our class. So I invited the whole class to attend too!

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Special thanks to Mr. Hudak for the tour and detailed explanation on normal operations in their Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) / 911 call center.

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Our class then moved over to the Belmont County Emergency Management Agency where our class was given a formal tour of their Emergency Operation Center (EOC).

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They just happen to be monitoring Hurricane Matthew – so that made it even better for all participants to see how this EOC can monitor any situation in real time. Thank you Belmont County EMA!

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Positions ready…Executive Policy Room ready…ARES Comms center ready…fully operational…who could ask for anything more?!!?!? Even the bonus resources they have were great to see how they could support operations and paint a better picture to increase situational awareness / common operating picture (SA/COP).

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Gah, I see this EOC being a great resource for many all hazards partners in public safety.

Great to showcase the efforts of local emergency management professionals and how they pair with Ohio Emergency Management Agency (OEMA).

Special thanks to Glenn Trudo and Belmont College for being such gracious hosts for the OEMA ICS-300 class.

@rusnivek

Write For Different Platforms-Safety-PIO-SM-14-003

14-003: Write for Different Platforms

Agency: Rocky Mountain Area IMT

Topic(s):         Social Media Platform Specific Messaging

Date: Summer 2014

Platform(s):    Press Release vs Twitter

Despite the message being essentially the same, every communications platform is different.

Speed is important, but correctly addressing your audience is critical in the world of public information.

On July 1, 2014, this tweet was posted on the Rocky Mountain Area Incident Management Team’s feed during the Eightmile Fire while deployed in Canon City, Colorado.

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“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” In all caps? All caps use on social media portrays yelling. Professionals should portray calm/control.

Twitter’s social media platform premise is a fast microblog service focusing on immediate information. This templated press release lingo (FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE) is not necessary. Every tweet is automatically time/date stamped including matching the recipients’ time zone. Do not waste your valuable 140 characters.

To me, this was a cut-and-paste action, or even worse yet, they just linked the agency’s Facebook and Twitter accounts together. No time was spent in addressing the various platforms used to push this valuable information. Remember, PIO actions on each platform in social media are not generic, they are specific. We talk about safety to kids differently than we inform adults on safety right? Likewise, we should address our audiences on social media accordingly to the platform they use.

A more effective tweet could have read:

“Updated information & stats on the #Eightmile Fire ongoing in Colorado can be found here fb.me/6KArLmgFr

By phrasing it this way:

  1. The tweet is shorter and more concise.
  2. Tweet identifies where the Rocky Mountain Area Incident Management Team is deployed.
  3. The main point of contact is identified on the Facebook link provided if more specific information is needed.
  4. Shorter messaging will allow your followers to retweet/repost and amplify your information.
  5. The use of hashtags will help audiences find information about the #Eightmile Fire and identify the Rocky Mountain Area Incident Management Team as a trusted source of information.

Know the differences in mainstream social media platforms because what will work on one old platform (press release) will NOT work on newer platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc…) Know social media and use their amenities to your advantage.

 Time is valuable, so post good stuff.

@rusnivek

***To download this as a single-page printable format, click this: WriteForDifferentPlatforms-Safety-PIO-SM-14-003