|Ever have one of THOSE phone calls?|
And that, my fair PIO friends, is an interesting dynamic set forth today in the world of PIOs. As the number of journalism jobs decreases in newspapers and broadcast outlets seek to contain costs, many journalists are finding themselves out of work or looking to leave the 24-hour news cycle to get into public information work. This is often referred to by journalists as 'going to the dark side.'
|You see, it's not so bad here on the dark side!|
|Knowing about your agency and media needs is critical|
PIOs promoted from within an organization have intimate knowledge of policies and procedures, and can offer that depth of experience to reporters on scene. However, the job of a PIO isn't the same as a firefighter or law enforcement officer, who is more concerned about actually battling a blaze or apprehending a suspect. To an incident commander who may not understand the importance of the role of a PIO, he or she may dismiss you as a member of the media yourself and ask you to go stand behind the tape with the reporters on scene. Believe me, it happens.
|Media relations is key to just about any event|
Tom Iovino, Public Information Specialist
Pinellas County, Florida