Training Course Catalog

Crisis Communications and Public Information Officer Training


During emergencies, public information is a labor intensive activity and one of the primary functions of any organization. The Emergency Management Crisis Communications Public Information Officers Course is aimed at the new or less experienced PIO including those individuals who have public information functions as a secondary responsibility. Course topics include an overview of the job of the PIO, understanding the media, public information as intervention, tools used in the media, social media, Joint Information Systems, ICS/NIMS and emergency public information, internal/external communications, developing the PIO team.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the role and function of the Public Information Officer (PIO).
  • Describe the target audiences for the PIO.
  • List the skills needed to be an effective PIO.
  • Describe traditional media available for communication.
  • Describe evolving media tools for communication.
  • Describe how to effectively communicate orally and through written products.
  • Describe how to have a successful relationship with the news media.
  • Define a public awareness campaign.
    Describe how to develop and execute a public awareness campaign.
  • Describe the role of the PIO in an emergency.
  • Describe how to manage the news media at the scene of an incident.

Topics Covered

  • Crisis communication versus risk communication
  • Getting it right – get the right information to the right people at the right time in the right format so that they can make the right decisions
  • The tasks and tools of the public information officer
  • Happy talk to straight talk
  • Many voices, one message
  • Joint information system (jis) & joint information center (jic)
  • Communication before the event
  • Communication during the event
  • Group exercise(s)
  • Course Track(s)


  • Participants

    Up to 30

  • Length

    8 hours (can be delivered as a 1.5 or 2 day course)

  • Refresher Requirement

    None, but recommended

  • Prerequisites