In 2018, I began my research on the role of Public Information Officers (PIOs) in emergency response. I subsequently reported on what the academic literature says about this subject. Since then, I've conducted interviews with PIOs, analyzed my notes, and written them up as a pilot study. I'll be presenting that pilot study at the International Academy of Business Disciplines Annual Conference, which will take place from April 3-5, 2019 in Jacksonville, FL.
Here's an abstract, or summary, of the paper on the pilot study. Go here to listen to a recording of my presentation based on the paper.
Go here to view the complete paper including the findings of my research.
on the Public Information Officer (PIO)’s role during emergency or disaster
situations wants for further critical inquiry (Curnin & Owen, 2014;
Vidoloff, 2011). More specifically, what is missing from existing research is a
consideration of how PIOs navigate the National Incident Management System
(NIMS)’ Incident Command System (ICS) to fulfill their responsibilities. The ICS
provides a systematic, proactive approach and template to help agencies respond
to emergency situations. (“National Emergency Management Plan,” 2014; “NIMS:Frequently Asked Questions,” n.d.; Vidoloff, 2011).
This pilot study, based on
semi-structured interviews with six PIOs working for public sector
organizations in California, aimed to achieve an understanding of how PIOs
fulfilled their responsibilities in emergency response, in particular, the
strategies and techniques they used to maneuver through a federal system only
encountered during emergencies. Results highlighted the importance placed by
PIOs on relationships, relationship building, and training and education prior
to emergencies to help them perform their duties, although research questions
precluded the exploration of specific strategies and tactics employed to manage
the intricacies of the NIMS framework. Moreover, the researcher’s inability to
secure the participation/sponsorship of a professional association representing
PIOs in a specific industry/context meant study participants represent a range
of professional interests and skills. Future research would best be based on
broader participation of PIOs, working within a specific organization or
context, to focus on how they built and maintain relationships prior to and
during emergencies that in turn translated into specific actions taken to
manage the complexities of NIMS.*****