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This course is designed to prepare participants to function as fullor part-time PIOs. Additionally, this training is a prerequisite and foundation for more advanced public information officer training.


This event is currently full. If you are interested in adding your name to the waitlist for this session or reserve a spot on the next course, please contact

About the G290 Basic PIO Class

Every agency, corporation and city, state, federal entities are one incident away from a major media crisis happening within your jurisdiction. We don't want “bad press” but sooner or later, some negative feedback is bound to show up on your radar screen. It can range from a disgruntled customer complaining on social media, or an employee suing the company for a perceived injustice. Either way, it’s easy for isolated incidents to develop into a major media crisis. What your agency does in the first few hours can dictate how the incident plays out in the press, which now includes “citizen journalists”.

Whether you are a part-time public information officer or full-time you will learn in this 2-day course how to ensure that your affected public receives accurate and timely information during an emergency. Armed with good information, people are better able to make good decisions and, by doing so, contribute to the overall response goal of saving their company and/or saving lives and protecting property. You will receive training for the basic skills needed to function as a PIO such as oral and written communications, understanding and working with the media, and basic tools and techniques needed to perform effectively. We will consider the value of communication before, during and after an incident or emergency and will help you to identify critical audiences both internal and external. You’ll learn the most important three questions that when addressed during an incident will keep you on the right track:

1. Here’s what happened. Be HOT (honest, open and transparent)

2. Here’s what WE are doing. (Specifically your affected agency)

3. And the most important is “Here’s what WE want you to do”. People want to know what to do…tell them and they will help you weather the incident.

Course Objectives:

  • Explain why emergency public information is important during an incident.
  • Recognize the functional needs and challenges of different audiences.
  • Demonstrate the role and function of the PIO in both day-to-day and emergency environments.
  • Compare actions PIOs can take to work with the news media during day-to-day and emergency situations.
  • Using the strategic communications planning model, develop a public awareness campaign
  • Using the strategic communications planning model, develop an incident communications strategy
  • Explain the news briefing cycle and outline media needs at the scene.
  • Describe the difference between media briefings and press conferences.
  • Describe different public information written products, apply effective news release writing guidance.
  • Adapt or repurpose written media products for other purposes.
  • Describe what types of impressions specific body language might convey during an interview.
  • Identify elements of an interview the PIO should consider ahead of time.
  • Identify steps a PIO needs to take to prepare for and conduct a news interview.
  • Demonstrate effective techniques for on-camera interviews.
  • Given an emergency scenario, apply public information skills.

G290 Basic Public Information Officer Brochure

May 1st, 2019 8:00 AM   through   May 2nd, 2019 5:00 PM
25 Morton Shulman Ave
Toronto, ON M3M 0B1

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Event Fee(s)
OAEM Member $ 225.00
OAEM Non-member $ 350.00

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