Public Information Officers, commonly referred to as PIOs, are the communications coordinators who working diligently with law enforcement agencies, fire departments, local and state governments, school districts and more who provide mission-critical information to the public on a regular basis.
In essence, it is their job to keep us informed. When we need to know something, they’re the ones that provide it with us. They play a pivotal role in everything from standard day-to-day operations to public emergencies and everything in between.
And unfortunately, they need better tools. Or at least, tools that are better than the ones they have right now.
The PIO Problem
The main reason why PIOs need better tools than the one that they have now stems from a general misunderstanding about the work they do daily. The job of a Public Information Officer is NOT simply to pass data from “Point A” to “Point B.” It actually extends quite a bit deeper than that. They’re not a spokesperson or a public relations professional – they need open and secure lines of communication with the communities they serve. They need to not only communicate but COLLABORATE, both internally and with the surrounding areas.
Presently, the technology that many PIOs rely on leaves a lot to be desired to say the least. These systems are simply not set up to respond to incidents in fast, effective and smart ways, to say nothing of the lack of organization required to build their culture and showcase all of the great work that goes on in the world of law enforcement (not just the “bad news” that is so commonly reported by the press).
Simply put, we at Adventos believe that PIOs need a tool that will allow them to do all of this and more. They need something that not only gives them the ability to do the work they need to do, but HOW they like to do it.
And thankfully, we’ve just given it to them.
The Public Information Officer Module
The Public Information Officer module in SmartForce was designed from the ground up with a simple word in mind: empowerment. PIOs have access to all the data they need to communicate and collaborate with their communities in the safest and most effective ways possible right at their fingertips.
The “Contacts” list includes category fields like “News,” “Social Media,” Liaison,” “Community” and more, allowing them to instantly share the right data with the right people at the touch of a button. The “Media Kit” is a fully functional document library supporting all of today’s most commonly used formats, making sure that absolutely nothing is lost in translation.
Creating customized press releases is also a breeze, as the “Press Releases” list in the PIO module includes criteria like:
- Type of Incident (user editable)
- Date Prepared
- Incident Location
- Cause of Incident
- Additional Hazards
- Status and more
The “Feature Stories,” “Incidents,” “Social Media” and “Other Documents” document libraries were also designed with this goal in mind. They’re intended to help PIOs get organized, compile the most actionable, valuable data at their fingertips so that they have everything they need to make the most informed choices moving forward.
But able all else, the “Public Information Officer” module is simple. We believe that PIOs should have the ability to work smarter, not harder, which is one of the reasons why we at Adventos are champions of the idea that a 21st century job like a PIO should have access to the latest and greatest 21st century tools at the same time.