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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Is it time to review how PIOs work and JIC structure?

I've just finished reading a couple of very interesting blog posts by some very influential bloggers:
Jonathan Bernstein http://bernsteincrisismanagement.blogspot.com/2009/11/taking-advantage.html
and Gerald Baron http://crisisblogger.wordpress.com/2009/11/10/searching-and-monitoring-more-important-and-more-powerful-than-ever/

The main takeaway: social media is creating new imperatives for crisis communications specialists, PIOs and emergency managers. In a world of instantaneous information where you audiences know as much as you do ... where there's an abundance of information (often misleading or inaccurate) ... the main function of a Joint Information Centre or PIO no longer has a long-term strategic framework behind it.

Fact is, with so much information floating around in the social media universe, being heard and recognized as a source of authoritative information becomes the primary concern. At the speed the information flows, that cannot be done through traditional media ... certainly not only through them ...

Our plans have to include capability to respond immediately to emerging incidents ... the only way to do that is with pre-approved, very specific messaging ... and the ability to get it out quickly on all sorts of platform.

Which begs the question? how do you know what's going on in the social media universe during an incident? How robust is your monitoring cell?

Do you still need as many strategists? or should you have more social media and web monitors/contributors?

As someone who's currently planning communications related to security for a huge event in June 2010 ... the largest security event next year ... those questions are very relevant to me ...

Any insights out there ?

1 comment:

  1. The structure is certainly due for an overhaul, because it was designed in an era where "news cycle" really meant something.

    Now, not only is the news cycle more of a constant hum, much of what drives it is the same rumor and innuendo (worst fears) that people spread via social media.

    As people turn more to their friends and trusted associates, we need a structure that will place the right messages in their hands, in a sharable and accessible format. The media is about to become ancillary to direct public communication.

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