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Home>Topics>>The Job: The Importance of the PIO

The Job: The Importance of the PIO

Fri, 14 Feb 2014|

P.J. Norwood discusses the importance of the public information officer.



Welcome to Fire Engineering with Tay's video blog. I'm here to discuss a very important position within the fire department which is very often overlooked. That's the public information officer. The public information officer in the past would only be important or pertinent on major incidents or. A time of natural disaster. However, the public information officer today is one of the most important, but yet underutilized, positions in the department. The traditional citizen in the past would receive their information only from print newspaper. They get the newspaper delivered to their mailbox or their, their front porch each and every day. They'd open it up, they read the latest stories from the previous day. However, with the age of social media and the Internet, our citizens and our customers expect instantaneous information, while an incident is being under progress. When you have a major fire, you have residents looking for information while you're still stretching the initial [INAUDIBLE]. So how do we do that? How do our public information officers get that information out timely to our residents, who deserve timely, accurate information? We establish those relationships, we build relationships early. Our Public Information Officer should be communicating with our public on a regular, almost daily basis. It doesn't have to be just for critical instance or natural disasters. Getting the message out for the department, public safety information, fire prevention information, and just everyday day-to-day information about the fire department. This builds the relationship so that when major incident does hit. Your residents are familiar with where to go to get good, solid, accurate information. But they also know what to do with that information by trusting the source of the relationships that you have built. So I wanna know from you, what do you and your department do to get the message out on a regular basis from your citizens, and how have you built those relationships?

Related Videos:

  1. Role of the Public Information Officer (PIO )

    The new free training program from the Firefighters Support Foundation outlines the responsibilites of the public information officer and discusses media relations and more.

  2. Moore (OK) Tornado: Lessons for the PIO

    Bobby Halton comments on how a fire department public information officer ( PIO ) needs to be able to communicate properly with the media after a large-scall incident.