June 23, 2021 - Effective Messaging with Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Cultural Competence as Part of Your Communications Strategy

Dr. Adrienne Coleman / Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Speaker/Researcher

This webinar will deepen participants’ knowledge and understanding of the cultural value related to diversity, equity and inclusion. Concepts of cultural competence, cultural humility, cultural sensitivity and cultural awareness will be introduced, explored and made meaning of. Through the development of cultural intelligence, participants will build their capacity to relate and work and communicate effectively in culturally diverse situations. Participants will be encouraged to accept diverse perspectives and given tools needed to engage in candid conversations and cross-cultural relationships. They will then be provided with a framework to create a diverse and inclusive environment that is rooted in cultural competence.

Dr. Adrienne Coleman, a nationally recognized speaker/researcher, serves as the Director of Equity and Inclusion at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA). In this role, she is responsible for assessing potential barriers and developing strategies focused on recruiting and retaining a diverse community as well as implementing IMSA’s equity and excellence plan. She has also assisted other educational institutions, social-service organizations, law enforcement, government and international organizations in this work.

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May 19, 2021 – Building Public-Private Partnerships for Your Community to Survive a Disaster

Alicia Johnson / UC Berkeley Emergency Manager

Public-private partnerships are essential to building disaster resilience. Communities build resilience together and a public-private partnership is the way to ensure it works. This webinar will explain why and how you formulate plans to build public-private partnerships in your community, and discuss why partnerships are vital to the future of emergency management. The session will also help you understand how to strategize and structure these partnerships to the benefit of your community and internal/external stakeholders, and will share best practices to build and sustain public-private partnerships for a more resilient community.

UC Berkeley Emergency Manager Alicia Johnson is a natural-born problem solver with a penchant for civic innovation. An emergency manager by trade, Alicia has changed the culture of preparedness by using human-centered design to create SF72.org and its open-source sister, City72. She has built strong community collaborations that drive operational efficiency and long-term community resilience. Johnson also leads Two Lynchpin Road, which is an organization dedicated to crafting organizational preparedness and resilience.

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February 17, 2021 – Improving Communication and Outreach for Vulnerable Populations

Alma Bowen / Nuestra Comunidad

Helping vulnerable communities prepare for a crisis is more important than ever before, especially for those who are not proficient with English as their primary language. What can be done to ensure that English as a Second Language (ESL) populations are being effectively reached? In a 45-minute webinar, you will learn best practices for helping vulnerable groups better prepare for emergencies. In October 2017, our subject-matter expert was working as a 911 dispatcher during the deadly Tubbs Fire when she saw first-hand the severe problems experienced by vulnerable populations who don’t understand English and are confused by emergency alerts. She will talk about what works and what doesn’t for Public Information Officers and spokespersons to reach ESL groups.

Alma Bowen is the founder and Executive Director of Nuestra Comunidad (which means “our community”). Bowen founded this non-profit in Sonoma, California, in November 2018 after she saw a need to help vulnerable populations better prepare for emergencies. Since Nuestra Comunidad opened its doors, Bowen has worked with Sonoma County to re-tool its emergency services and health departments to build a system that serves the needs of all county residents, during sunny days and crisis messaging.

Webinar Recording               Presentation

January 13, 2021 – Understanding False Information in the Digital Era

Lisa  Kaplan / Alethea Group

Disinformation is a national security issue that targets individuals with the attempt to influence how and what decisions they make. But lying on the internet isn’t new–so what makes disinformation different? What can you do about it? In a 45-minute webinar, learn how adversaries are using the social media algorithms to their advantage, basic tips for spotting disinformation, and a strategy to mitigate disinformation. We’ll go over what it is that we know about disinformation as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic. Public Information Officers or those serving in that capacity; emergency managers; external affairs professionals; organizational leadership; and others who may utilize social media in investigative capacities are especially encouraged to attend.

Lisa Kaplan founded Alethea Group to help organizations navigate the new digital reality and protect themselves against disinformation. Kaplan served as digital director for US Senator Angus King’s successful 2018 re-election campaign, where she designed and executed a strategy to identify, understand, and respond to disinformation. She is one of the few people who has firsthand experience combating disinformation on the campaign trail. Previously, she consulted with PwC to the State Department, and served as a US Senate aide. Kaplan has briefed policy makers and officials on disinformation and frequently appears in the press.

Webinar recording available upon request at [email protected]

October 28, 2020 – How GIS Can Inform Your Public Messaging

Carmella Burdi / Senior GIS Analyst

This 45-minute webinar will discuss ways in which Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can help to enhance and inform public messaging. Providing easy-to-read maps of impacted areas can help the public understand the immediate ramifications to themselves and their loved ones during any kind of emergency event. In this training, Carmella Burdi, a Senior GIS Analyst at Argonne National Laboratory, will teach you the ins and outs of engaging effectively with your agency’s GIS staff. She will cover the basics of maps designed specifically for social media messaging, as well as how to create some quick and simple maps that can be used by Public Information Officers in their engagement with the media.

Carmella Burdi is a Senior GIS Analyst in the National Preparedness Analytics Group at Argonne National Laboratory. She has an MS in Geographic Information Systems from Northwest Missouri State University and a BA in Geography and Environmental Planning from Elmhurst College. Prior to her work at Argonne, Carmella spent eight years at DuPage County, supporting the Office of Emergency Management and the Sheriff’s Office. Carmella is also an adjunct instructor at Elmhurst University. Her current areas of interest include web mapping applications and using mapping to aid in Emergency Management Operations.

Webinar Recording        Presentation          Handout

September 2, 2020 – Livestreaming Video in an Emergency

Kerry  Shearer / Livestream Expert

Online video is a powerful communications tool, and is especially useful during a crisis. In this training, Kerry Shearer “The Livestream Expert” will teach you the basics about how to use livestreaming video effectively during an emergency. He will cover how to do live broadcasts, including how to prepare; how to title your livestreams to avoid viewer confusion; key elements to include in an update; how to engage viewers; and how to confidently deliver your message on camera. This is not a passive talking-head webinar! Kerry will pack this training with live demonstrations and video examples from his multi-camera mini-studio in Sacramento, CA. You’ll come away from the training feeling energized, inspired and better prepared to use live video for crisis communications.

Kerry Shearer has a wide-ranging background as a public information officer, emergency communications trainer, social media specialist, podcaster and conference speaker. He specializes in teaching communicators how to use smartphone video and livestreaming effectively so that they can create compelling content quickly and position their agency as the “go-to resource” for information. He thrives on assisting his communications colleagues across the country enhance their emergency communications capabilities and develop deep social media and web video skills.


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August 5, 2020 – Video Teleconferencing Showdown

Kevin T. Sur, Instructor / Media Relations Specialist

Looking to better understand which teleconference platform is best suited to your organization? Which one has the optimal features? This webinar will outline the top-tier teleconferencing platforms and their similarities and differences. Join us August 5th at 12 noon (CDT) for “Video Teleconferencing Showdown” presented by Kevin Sur, Emergency Manager for DuPage County Illinois.  He is an experienced PAO and instructor with FEMA and the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center.

Kevin has more than 20 years of experience in Emergency Services/Management Professional, focused in operations, public information, training, outreach and exercises with extensive healthcare leadership in EM/Disasters and municipal Fire Departments.



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July 15, 2020 Trolls and Their Toll - on YOU!

Brandi Bates, Public Information Officer,  Santa Rosa County (Florida) Board of County Commissioners

In addition to personal social media accounts, public sector social media pages are increasingly targeted by online trolls, with agency staff experiencing more than their fair share of trolling. But not everyone that disagrees with a message is considered a troll. Join Brandi Bates, Public Information Officer at Santa Rosa County (Florida) Board of Commissioners, for “Trolls and Their Toll – on You!” to learn more about the six basic personalities you come across on the Internet, and how to handle them.

Brandi is an experienced local government public information officer with a demonstrated history of working in crisis communications as well as non-profit and the private sector. Brandi oversees Santa Rosa County’s public information office, promoting the plans, programs and policies of the board of county commissioners. Brandi graduated from FEMA’s Master Public Information Officer Program in September 2019 and was awarded Florida Public Relations Association Pensacola Area Chapter’s Communicator of the Year for 2019.


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