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

3 in the green…in my #Instagram #Story

I should probably stop posting to my Instagram Story and pay attention huh?

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So…….lots of stuff on the dashboard of an aircraft.

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BTW-The buttons that says “FIRE” doesn’t fire the missiles. Think of it more like fire extinguishers. #SafetySur

@rusnivek

 

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.

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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.

 

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

Focus your energy in delivering your message. #PIO

@rusnivek

 

#CJSavesCLE gets nominated for an Emmy!

Super proud to see our little 2015 Christmas project #CJSavesCLE get nominated for an Emmy!

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Check out the Fox8 story here.

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Cleveland Police, Cleveland FBI, A Special Wish Foundation, led the charge. But so many public safety agencies and officials that made this day possible.

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I can’t thank them enough. All the planning was totally worth it.

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CJ – still such a cool dude!

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Many mahalos to my friend and fellow CPD Public Information Officer Sgt Jen Ciaccia.

@rusnivek

 

Reporting live as I sink into the mud!

Shoes! SHOES PEOPLE!

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I can’t wait for all those expensive heels to get stuck in the mud…and no one likes a pair of muddy dress pants and fancy black wingtips. C’mon!

Reporters: Please dress appropriately when covering a story.

PIO/PAOs: Please dress appropriately when arriving on scene.

@rusnivek

640 Insta -> 1080 Insta #Instagram

Instagram just announced that it will go from 640×640 picture posts now to 1080 x 1080 picture posts.

This is most likely attributed to mobile hardware improvements since 2010 and camera phones now take excellent pictures. So to meet the new uploads and higher quality standards, Instagram changed their programming to allow users to include more.

So what does all that gobbledygook actually mean for the Instagrammer?

Before you could only post this type of image with marginal clarity (640 resolution).

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Now, you can post this with better quality and better clarity (1080 resolution).

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Bigger picture at a standard 1080 resolution, better clarity, and a much better story platform for your audience.

Picture border? Still square.

Time is short, so Gram good stuff.

@rusnivek

Press amenities…because they are our partners in safety right? #PIO

Media considerations: Press amenities.

aaa

Aside from giving the media the juicy story they crave…we should do a better job in considering their needs during a disaster.

However, in this day/age of media involvement and constant interaction, it would behoove us PIOs to better meet the needs of our partners (that’s right, I said partners) in safety.

For prolonged incidents, it would be nice if your agency:

  • Provided a bunch of plugs and/or outlets to use. Power seems to be a mandatory necessity during every day life. Just look at any airport with weirdos hunched around an open power plug.
  • Setting up a separate WiFi for media use only so they can meet their timely deadlines or push valuable info via social media. They are data hogs just like the rest of us. It has been proven for humans to exist, we need WiFi.
  • Held up white cards for white balance during setup…or better yet warm cards to help the videographers get their color scheme setup right. It does make you look like you just got back from someplace warm and now have a nice tan.
  • A simple cup of coffee would be a welcome olive branch in the midst of disaster/emergency. First informal rule of any disaster or emergency? A cup of coffee regularly ranks high on the scale of requests and necessities from everyone. Available 24/7.

Since we are breaking down barriers, we need to explore a few options to support our partners in safety. Look at this setup…

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…no seriously, look closer.

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What do you see?

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Build your relationships before a disaster and strengthen them as you continue to train exercise your skills. Partners in safety.

Let’s work together to better our response and enhance communications skills with just some basic needs for the press. Trust me, a little goes along way.

After all, the old adage goes: you can attract more friends with honey than vinegar…right?

@rusnivek