Across this great state, we have seen the rise of local PIO groups and we love it.
This local group (or local joint information system, to use the terminology) should be your first line of defense against an onslaught of pressure to gather, verify, produce, disseminate and track information going out and coming in.
How to get started
This is where we need your help
Step 1: Find a champion (It may be you!)
You need someone who is willing to:
- Wave the proverbial PIO banner.
- Start the process of relationship building.
- Promote contact information sharing.
- Not give up when things go slowly.
Step 2: Call a meeting
- You don’t need a formal agenda for your first meeting. You can just ask for a status update from those who are attending.
- See our blog post about meeting topic ideas.
- Document who attends.
- Food does help get people there, even if it’s a brown-bag type event.
- Decide on a regular meeting schedule (monthly, quarterly, etc.)
Step 3: Plan an exercise
- Work with your county emergency manager to discuss ways PIOs will be involved in emergency response.
- Sit down and discuss a scenario and try to figure out what resources you have or what you will need if the scenario happens in real life.
- Document who attends and what lessons are learned.
- Make a plan for fixing any capability or training gaps.
- Follow up.
From Becki Bronson in Iron County:
We’ve been going strong for about two years now and meet every other month to practice writing news releases, hold meetings with members of the media to strengthen relationships, problem solve, network, etc.
Note to the public and media. These contacts are for training and coordination in the PIO Association only. These people are not necessarily the designated media contact for the county.