Nov. 5: What Every PIO Needs to Know–Lessons from Oso

Communicators can be thrust, ready or not, into the thick of local, regional, or national emergencies.

The incredible images of the massive SR530 Landslide in Snohomish County are etched into our memories, and a gnawing question still lingers in many PIOs’ minds: would we be ready to respond if that happened in my community?

Come to the next Olympia Communicators Group meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 5, to learn more about what it was like working in the landslide Joint Information Center, and learn what every PIO should know before disaster strikes in your community.

The program is still developing, but we will have at least one PIO who worked on the OSO Landslide.

Oct. 2: Linda Robson on the New Washington Emergency Public Information Network (WEPIN)

Our next meeting features Linda Robson, PIO with Thurston County, with a presentation on the new Washington Emergency Public Information Network–WEPIN.

According to Linda, “At some point in your communications career you’ll be faced with communicating to the public about an emergency situation. To help prepare you for that day, communications professionals from several county emergency management departments and the state have formed WEPIN, and we invite you to join the network.”

WEPIN’s mission is to build a network of communications professionals around the state to support a statewide Joint Information System (JIS) that enables public communicators to collaborate on important safety messages, create information-sharing tools and processes, hone necessary skills, build relationships, and share best practices.

WEPIN is not just for emergency management PIOs. Whether you work for a state agency, local government, non-profit or private industry, joining WEPIN gives you the opportunity to get to know your colleagues throughout the state and hone your communications skills BEFORE the next disaster strikes.  Their site is

Sept. 4: Joe Jimenez on Crisis Communication

Our guest speaker for the September 4 OCG meeting is Joe Jimenez, public affairs officer for the Defense Department’s National Center for Telehealth and Technology at JBLM.

Joe shares new insights on a familiar topic. Disasters and their smaller cousins, crises, have predictable patterns. Knowing the patterns can improve your chances of leading the coverage instead of being led around.

Learn what you can do to help stave off disaster at our session, Wednesday, September 4, Noon-1:00, at the Association of Washington School Principals, 1021 8th Avenue (8th and Eastside), Olympia.

Don’t forget your business cards!