Day-2 of the State of Ohio #Basic #PIO class #Summit

Day-2 of the State of Ohio Basic Public Information Officers’ Course here in Summit County. And yaaassss, #OnWednesdaysWeWearPink!

Started off the morning talking about interview skills and techniques that are readily used by both PIOs and Reporters/Photojournalists.

Reviewed all oncamera interviews from all the participants in our class.

We want to prepare our new PIOs with the best training so they are capable off hitting the ground running representing their agency positively in a crisis or emergency.

Steve brought in the Team from WKYC (NBC affiliate) Akron Office to be our panel discussion.

Lots of great points including what could make or break a PIO – esp for a close tight knit community like Akron and Summit County. Special thanks to Reporter Amani Abraham and Photojournalist Carl Bachtel on their insight to news media.

PC: Bosso

I was able to get my friend Cleveland Police PIO Sgt Jennifer Ciaccia to give a dual presentation with me on the 2016 Republican National Convention and other Cleveland activities.

As a team, Jen and I are solid, but we recognize that others are needed to establish the efforts of PIOing within their own communities – no matter pre-planned event or emergency.

And yes, we addressed how PIOs need to keep current on social media trends esp on national cool campaigns…like the mannequin challenge.

Again, special thanks to Jen on the support of today’s State of Ohio Basic PIO class.

PC: Bosso

PC: Bosso

Afternoon was dedicated to the PIO TTX. We setup two groups with all participants for the in class mock press conference and they did a solid job. Both groups worked together…

…and formulated talking points….

…organized and strategically thought out a press conferences agenda…

…prepped speakers…

And of course controlled the unruly fictitious media reps from OZRadio, WTF, and the YellowBrickRoadNews. FEMA Phil and USFA Tom would be so proud of us MPIOs to see us working the press conference part of the class.

Another great day for PIO training in the State of Ohio!


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!


Another G0291 JIS JIC course for PIOs in Athens County #Ohio #AlohaFriday

Leading off another Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Ohio Emergency Management Agency (OEMA) G-0291: Joint Information System / Joint Information Center Planning for Tribal, State, and Local PIOs.


We have a few new additions to our class – who hail from across Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia.


Glad to have so many pros with us in class…esp for #AlohaFriday – yeah baby!

PC: J. Beckett

PC: J. Beckett

Always an Aloha shirt on Fridays.

Lots of group work and discussion as everyone contributes information to better their communities.

img_6153It is helpful because our participants have diverse backgrounds.


Almost all Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) were represented.


This allowed us to have an in-depth discussion and think outside the box to solve various in class table top exercises.


Instructors we able to facilitate discussion among groups providing the opportunity to enhance their response with immediate communication strategies and tactics for emergency notification.


Also lots of discussion of the benefits and pitfalls of the JIC vs the JIS.


Additionally, the class wanted to see a few pictures from our Joint Information Center (JIC) during the 2016 RNC (2016 Republican National Convention).


We obliged and showed a few pictures.


Glad to have the chance to present before the PIOs from Athens County and beyond.


Special thanks to Dan in coordinating this training with Ohio Emergency Management Agency (OEMA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).


Proud to have so many different agencies represented.

Looking forward to working with each of these PIOs in a JIC!


#AlohaFriday for paperwork and meetings at OhioEMA

On this #AlohaFriday – I report to the OEMA mother ship!


I had to take care of some TPSReports for ICS classes. Talked about upcoming October/November schedules with both SAAs on a few ICS-300 and ICS-400 about registration issues as well as my packed IMT class for FEMA’s USAR Ohio Task Force-1 (OH-TF-1).

I was fortunate to visit with good friends Jerry and Sima. Hilarious!

Lots of discussion on the RNC as well as National Preparedness Month.

And yes, all done with the Aloha Shirt on.



PIO Tip: Frame your shot and reduce your onscene variables

I was finishing up my AARs and found a picture from the last night of the Republican National Convention (RNC).

Quick tip for you PIOs doing field reporting: Frame your shot.


Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams doing an interview with Time Magazine. Obvious chalked roadway with profane statement behind him. Videographer is recording at an upward angle to frame his subject.

During the RNC, we found that it was critical to frame the shot. Onscene shots were particularly tough because so many activist groups had signs, chalked, or painted words that are inappropriate for pictures or even worse yet, uncontrolled live broadcast hits (Periscope or FacebookLive or YouTubeLive).

Additionally, live outdoor broadcasts from the scene are challenging because it is difficult to control the natural and man-made variables.

So as PIOs we need to reduce any signs, ropes, wires, etc….that could affect your framed shot.



Trust me, reduce the amount of variables to a bare minimum.

Focus your energy in delivering your message. #PIO



PIO-ing Cleveland’s Public Square during #PrideInTheCLE #ClevelandPride

Yesterday, I supported Cleveland Police on the #PrideInTheCLE #ClevelandPride event in Public Square.


Much different from the Republican National Convention.


Lots of families out and about (and enjoying) the new cool fountain in downtown Cleveland.


Everyone was having a great time.


Lots of speculation and talk about public safety not being around to support the LGBT community – all totally false. Public Safety will be there to support any community.


Trust me, lots of public safety was on hand to support our entire community.

Cleveland Police Bomb Squad and K9 teams…


Cleveland EMS…


..even the Cleveland Police bike patrol was out supporting the day’s events.


Lots of areas to cover.


Partnerships with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department and Cleveland Police Department are key in providing safety for everyone who attended the event.


It was a relatively hot day so I am glad that many of the participants dressed appropriately for the event.


Some not so much.


Fun entertainment and friendly people staying cool out in Public Square.


While waiting around, we had some time for a quick PIO selfie…


Also had time for a few interviews with local media.


Also happy to run into a long time good friend Mark Zinni who is the anchor for the Channel 3 Eyewitness News in Hartford, Connecticut. Great to see him again.

Thanks for the picture Zinni!

Thanks for the picture Zinni!

Can’t wait to see him again in Cleveland.

While out there, we even made a few new peeps into Junior Police Officers.


Thanks Ken!

We were fortunate enough to do a few live interviews on Periscope from Public Square.


We highlighted the event and gave a status report of the operations using Periscope.

Ever wonder what it’s like to hang with onscene PIOs? Here’s a behind the scenes shot of us doing some live interviews on Periscope.

Thanks for the pic Zinni!

Thanks for the action shot Zinni!

Trust me, it’s harder than it looks.

Overall, it was great to see so many people out on a Saturday afternoon in Cleveland.


As always, I had a great time working the PIO magic with Jen!

IMG_7650We make a pretty good team huh?

Hope everyone stayed dry while the rain hit.


Great safe event everyone!


Have a great weekend!