PIO’s Should Be Where The Story Is Happening

PIO’s Should Be Where The Story Is Happening

All too often as incidents are unfolding I hear that PIO’s must be located at the command post or media staging area.  While good communication with command and news media need to be maintained, I argue that the PIO should be witnessing the story firsthand.  Proper training and or supervision along with personal protective equipment are non-negotiables for this type of reporting.  While the media staging area must be located in a safe, cold zone location with the best view of the incident possible, the PIO can be operating in the warm zone and obtaining images for distribution.  News needs to be reported as its happening, not in a media statement, press conference or written release after the fact.  Harness the power of photography, videography, editing software and social media from the warm zone to tell your agencies story as it happens.  The content you capture just might go viral and trend as the incident presses on.

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