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Crisis Communications and Today's PIO

  • Broadcast in Training
iCHIEFS Podcast

iCHIEFS Podcast


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Managing media expectations with today's 24/7 news cycle, providing timely and accurate information to the public, tracking and engaging on social media and protecting your department image are all part of the public information officer (PIO) job description.  As chief, what are you doing to prepare your PIOs for these challenges, especially when events require a crisis communications response?

Assistant Chief Shelly Jamison, Phoenix (Arizona) Fire Department and Public Information Officer Andrew Little, Tulsa (Oklahoma) Fire Department discuss the key elements of crisis communications and the changing role and responsibilities of the PIO.  Topics addressed include:

  • How fire chiefs can ensure PIOs have what they need to properly process and communicate information to the public
  • Different methods for dealing with incidents of regional and national consequence vs local 
  • Monitoring and utilizing social media to identify problems or citizens’ concerns during an escalating or evolving event
  • Reputation and image management 
  • The skillset and formal training requirements for today's PIO 

Looking for more on crisis communications and reputation management?  Check out these resources.