This course examines the role of public information in all-hazards incident management and provides practical training in crisis communication techniques. In a major incident, it is imperative that community leaders, incident managers, and Public Information Officers (PIOs) are prepared to communicate with the public through traditional and social media. The course consists of three modules.
The first module reviews the topics of terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), national response structures, incident management, and government and agency roles. Participants learn about the passing of information to the public in a WMD, terrorism, or other all-hazards incident and the function of joint information operations.
The second module covers issues unique to interacting with members of the media to help you build more effective relationships and avoid common mistakes when providing information to the press and public. The module includes a mock press conference exercise in which the class is broken into groups to prepare for and conduct press conferences based on fictional WMD, terrorism, and all-hazards incident scenarios. These scenarios are taken from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Planning Scenarios.
The third module introduces the crisis communication life cycle and crisis communication planning. A six-phase cycle is discussed, with public information objectives and key actions for managing each phase provided. Participants learn how to create a crisis communication plan and develop a crisis communication team to execute it.
There are no prerequisites for this course.
TopicsTerrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction+Informing the Public in a WMD, Terrorist, or All-Hazards Incident+Conducting emergency public information programs+Working with news and social media in a disaster +Joint Information Operations+The News Media Environment+Local Media vs. National Media +Building Relationships +Social Media +Needs of the News Media+Initial Statements +Press Conferences and Media Opportunities +Planning and coordinating press conferences +Identifying and preparing spokespersons and experts +News Media and the Law +Classified National Security Information +Crisis Communication Life Cycle+Developing an effective crisis communication plan
Personnel serving in all emergency response disciplines within a jurisdiction and individuals whose duties may require them to interface with news media representatives during their community’s response to a major incident, including:
- Jurisdiction’s key elected and appointed officials
- Public Information Officers (PIOs)
- Key department heads
- Key public health and medical personnel
- First responders
- Emergency management officials from both the public and private sectors
- Other key officials whose position might require them to communicate with the press or public in an emergency situation
Government Programs, Certifications and AccreditationsFor DHS/FEMA Funded Courses, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (866) 878-8900
Continuing Education & Professional Credits1.6 CEUs
Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE)+ACE+CE
This workshop is fully funded through DHS/FEMA and comes at no direct cost to the jurisdiction, and is delivered at a time and place requested by the jurisdiction.
25 - 35 participants