CSAC, County PIOs Fostering Cooperation
In an effort to foster wider cooperation and coordination among County Public Information Officers, (PIOs), CSAC organized a regional meeting in San Bernardino County on Wednesday that drew 29 communications professionals from seven counties. Three members of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) crisis communications team also participated.
“I want to thank CSAC very much for bringing us all together to discuss PIO cooperation,” said Shiara Davila-Morales with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. “We gained a lot from the discussion and look forward to working with the group to foster more collaboration.”
During Wednesday’s meeting, San Bernardino County PIOs David Wert and Felisa Cardona recounted some of what they went through in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on December 2, 2015, that left 13 county employees and one other person dead and 22 others seriously injured. The international media attention was overwhelming, but the cooperative system they had in place helped.
“We had a good team in place and good relationships with law enforcement which really helped because they conducted most of the initial media briefings,” said Wert. “We had a lot of help from other county departments, too, and we needed it because the daily intense media calls lasted about two weeks.”
“Intra-county and intercounty PIO cooperation already happens,” said CSAC Communications Coordinator Gregg Fishman. “We want to build on that and develop a system that all 58 counties can access for easier collaboration during planned and unplanned events and disasters. The meeting in San Bernardino County was the first step in this effort, and more are planned for other parts of the state.”
The next CSAC PIO meeting is scheduled for September 7 in Contra Costa County. Any county communications professional is welcome to attend. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.