4. Network! Network! Network!
"Representin'" People in the news industry typically have local associations or organizations, that would love to have a PIO/Media Relations Officer come and speak at their meetings. This is an opportunity for you to network and market your department, and also to communicate to them what your needs are as a fire department representative. We've aligned ourselves with several associations. One of them is the RTNA (Radio and Television News Association). RTNA is comprised of radio and television assignment editors, reporters, and news directors, who meet to discuss local issues regarding newsgathering. They are also a voice to corporate and local government agencies. Most large cities have a local RTNA chapter. Check with your television affiliates.
Recently, we have been asked to make presentations to, and become associate members of, the Southern California Association of Black Journalists, the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism, and the Los Angeles Association of News Photographers.
Don't forget your local PIO associations, for example, SCEPIOA (Southern California Emergency Public Information Officers Association) and NIOA (National Information Officers Association).
So you may not be a big fan of the "Hip Hop" culture, however, the next time your teenaged son or daughter uses one of these phrases, don't wince. Just smile and say "Yeah?I'm feelin' you on that tip."