Valuable lessons learned from the I-5 bridge collapse PIO

So you are picking your kid up from a soccer match, driving down Interstate 5. Suddenly, the bridge you are about to drive over, like you’ve done a thousand times, falls into the river. There are cars and people in the river. But, you are a communicator, a member of the incident management team. You find the just-established command post, the Incident Commander recognizes you and suddenly you find yourself the official PIO for the biggest news story of the moment.

Something quite like this happened to Marcus Deyerin. I had high interest in this story because, as I explained in my posts on emergencymgmt.com, this is MY bridge–I only live five miles away and cross it nearly every day. Like 71,000 others. And I have known Marcus for several years as a communicator for a local government agency. So it was with strong interest I followed this story even though I was in California when the bridge went down.

Marcus is sharing his very important lessons learned about being the initial PIO for this event in two blog posts on Jim Garrow’s terrific blog “The Face of the Matter.” (Here’s the link to the second post.)

If you are a communicator and could find yourself in this kind of situation where suddenly you are tapped to be the voice of a response a good part of the world is tuning in to, you may want to pay close attention to Marcus’ lessons learned.

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