Chatham County Public Information Officers Association
"The mission of the CCPIOA is to provide a foundation and structure for developing and delivering coordinated information during times of emergencies. Whether it be a small scale or large scale disaster, learning from one another and designing a public information system is one of the top priorities of the CCPIOA. The goal is to work collectively to maintain structure and organization for information management; to improve upon established policies and procedures; as well as anticipate shortcomings or emerging ways people share information."
During an emergency, disaster or major event, Chatham County must provide accurate information to the residents; that information must be coordinated, timely, and consistent. During a crisis, information is one of the most vital resources that will instill confidence that government agencies are working together to help residents respond and recover. In today’s world, information travels at the speed of light and more and more people are connected now than they ever were before. Government leaders have the responsibility of making sure that the public stays informed and educated before, during and after an event takes place. Critical information can save lives and allow residents to better take care of themselves. Because information management is so important, the Chatham County Public Information Officers Association (CCPIOA) formed to ensure that information flow continues during any type of crisis. The CCPIOA is comprised of a dedicated group of public information officers, public affairs officers, and communication managers and directors. More than 60 individuals are part of the CCPIOA.
Members meet bi-monthly to ensure the proper tools are in place for when something happens. This face to face interaction provides an opportunity to network during the quiet times verses during an emergency. On a regular basis, CCPIOA participates in communication exercises which also allow for members to better get to know each other. They learn work styles, personalities, and how to complement the strengths of one another.
CCPIOA is also beneficial for members during non-emergency times. Not only do members learn tricks of the trade from each other, there is a support circle in place when you may just need to pick up the phone and ask for some advice.
- Instill confidence that government and first responders are working together to restore essential services and assist residents as they recover from a crisis
- Form a partnership between information officers in order to provide essential, timely, and coordinated information
- Work closely with the media to provide information and to promote an understanding of response, recovery and mitigation programs
- Network within the CCPIOA to learn from one another and to form relationships now before a disaster strikes
- To provide support to one another in times of emergencies when one information officer may need support during the response