Monday, January 5, 2015


Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope you all had some great time together with family and friends, and are ready to tackle those 2015 resolutions...

Oh, I had to go there.

I'm normally not a resolution kind of guy. Resolutions sort of get a bunch of people to the gym for a month or so, maybe get people to stop smoking for a few days or try to change some bad habit, but then they go right back to their old ways.

I'm not going to dwell on that. In fact, I'm going to suggest that perhaps there are better resolutions to make when it comes to being a PIO that will be easy to follow out. Here are just a few examples:

  • Resolve to contact your local media face-to-face on a more regular basis. Sure, we expect to see reporters at the scene of an incident, but why not take the extra step to go and visit your local newsrooms? Sure, it may be a bit of a drive, but spending some time with an assignment editor for your local TV, radio or newspaper outlet can help both of you get a better feel for what makes news, how to get your story successfully placed and it shows you as a real person... someone they can get in touch with on those proverbial slow news days. 
  • Resolve to meet with nearby PIOs on a regular basis. If you don't have an active PIO network in your area of surrounding towns, neighboring counties, important partners and other groups, now is a great time to get everyone together to exchange business cards and put names with faces. Afraid no one will show up?  Bagels, donuts or pizza are great ways to improve your attendance. 
  • Resolve to be better read. Want to learn how to take better pictures for your website? How to conduct media relations in a crisis? How to better use social media? Gosh, there are tons of sites, books and blogs out there that can offer some valuable insight into how to make these improvements. 
  • Resolve to share your experiences. Last year, this blog was just a simple idea - a forum to share some lessons learned as a public information officer. Since then, I have been approached by lots of other PIOs who have been through some of the worst possible situations and found ways to make things work. Some have found new ways to leverage relationships. Others have found tips and tricks that help them during their crazy busy days. Take the time this year to help make a difference. You might be surprised with just what is possible. 

Remember, a new year is really a great excuse to dedicate yourself to some serious self improvement. I'll see you at the gym.

Tom Iovino, Public Information Specialist
Pinellas County, Florida

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