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Crisis Communications and the Role of the PIO

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's (PIO) job description. As fire chief, what are you doing to prepare your PIOs for these challenges, especially when events require a crisis communications response? 

Listen, as Shelly Jamison, assistant chief, Phoenix (Arizona) Fire Department and Andrew Little, public information officer, 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 that PIOs have what they need to process and communicate information to the public properly.
  • Different methods for dealing with incidents of regional and national consequence versus 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. 

Listen now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or online at our Blog Talk Radio channel.

Finally, if you are looking for resources on crisis communications and reputation management, make sure to check out these resources:

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About the iCHIEFS Podcast: 
Fire Chief Tom Jenkins and ESCI President Sheldon Gilbert engage with fire service leaders to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing you and your agency. If you're seeking out new ideas, looking to improve your leadership skills, and wanting to make a difference within your organization, this podcast is for you.


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