Washington State Emergency Management Division


L0388 Advanced Public Information Officer

Monday, August 22, 2022 to Friday, August 26, 2022
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Daily

Course Description

The National Response Framework (NRF) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS) devote significant attention to the importance of emergency public information. Public information is one-third of one-fifth of NIMS under Command and Management, placing public information at the same level as the Incident Command System (ICS).

With public information included as a function within NIMS and ICS, it is critical to address and provide training for this important element of emergency management.

EMI's Public Information Officer (PIO) training curriculum includes courses delivered at the awareness, basic, intermediate, advanced and master levels.

The advanced level course is the fourth in the public information training series. It teaches participants additional skills for use during escalating incidents, including strategic communications and incident action planning as it relates to Joint Information Center (JIC) operations.

The goal of this course is to:

  • Provide participants with the knowledge and skills to establish, manage and work within a JIC through multimedia lectures and individual and group activities.
  • Provide participants the opportunity to apply advanced public information skills during a multi-day functional exercise (FE) designed to test the participants' abilities to analyze, coordinate, process and create information in a fast-paced, realistic environment.
  • Through a tabletop exercise (TTX), encourage participants to evaluate their processes to help them generate new ideas, products, or ways of viewing challenges or situations.
  • Encourage participants to improve their processes and ensure every action has a measurable relevance for each identified audience, including senior leadership.

Course Objectives
  • Relate the exercise scenario to their primary area of responsibility within the functional exercise by verbalizing their primary exercise role during the introductions. (Unit 1)
  • Apply current crisis communications methodologies to community audiences during an incident by completing three table group activities. (Unit 2)
  • Analyze the characteristics of the changing American family and how the media and fear play a role in shaping communication goals and messages by participating in a group discussion and an activity. (Unit 3)
  • Conduct an analysis of their personal and organizational disaster readiness based on current disaster readiness guidance. (Unit 4)
  • Relate the Incident Action Planning (IAP) process to the External Affairs 8-Step Strategic Communications Model by completing a multi-level activity. (Unit 5)
  • Demonstrate the ability to work in a JIC by actively contributing to exercise tasks and products as specified in the exercise objectives through functional exercise play. (Unit 6)
  • Draft an 8-step strategic communication plan for each TTX scenario. (Unit 7)
  • Share lessons learned during a whole class debriefing, and create individual professional development goals based on class experiences. (Unit 8)

Exercise Objectives


  • Establish a Joint Information Center
  • Demonstrate team building skills


Early assessment

  • Demonstrate situational awareness assessment
  • Prioritize communication requirements.


Critical Messaging

  • Working in mass communication environment demonstrate necessary communication skills to provide the right information at the right time to the right audience
  • Demonstrate communication skills in a stressful environment
  • Prepare a simulated government executive for a media interview


Methods of alternative messaging

  • Establish a strategic communications plan for a simulated natural disaster
  • Incorporate limited English proficiency and function needs considerations into strategic into strategic communications planning


Long term messaging

  • Develop a communication strategy to protect and promote agency image
  • Simplify complex messages for identified audiences
  • Analyze and resolve conflicting media information
  • Deconflict and coordinate messages between multiple official sources


Expanding incident staff management

  • Demonstrate ability to work in a joint information center
  • Given a simulated natural disaster, establish external affairs related objectives and tasks for an incident action plan



  • IS-29: Public Information Officer Basics
  • IS-42: Social Media in Emergency Management
  • IS-100: Introduction to Incident Command System (ICS) - (any version)
  • IS-200: ICS for Single Resources & Initial Action Incidents - (any version)
  • IS-201: Forms Used for the Development of the Incident Action Plan - (waived if ICS-300 completed)
  • IS-247: Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) - (or either IS-248 or IS-251)
  • IS-700: National Incident Management System (NIMS) - (any version)
  • IS-800: National Response Framework; An Introduction - (any version)
  • G0290: Basic Public Information Officer Course*
  • G0291: JIS/JIC Planning for Tribal, State & Local PIOs* **
    *Completion certificates for the G0290/G0291 will be accepted until
    October, 2022. The courses will be retired at that time.


  • L0105: Public Information Basics (for the G0290/G0291 courses)


**If you are submitting the G PIO courses as prerequisite, please note that the G0291 is required. Waiver of the G0291 will be made on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the course manager and APIO manager at EMI.



All 'IS' (Independent Study) courses can be taken through FEMA's Emergency Management Institute Independent Study site here: FEMA Independent Study




  • ICS-300: Intermediate Incident Command System for Expanding Incidents
  • IS-120: An Introduction to Exercises
  • IS-242: Effective Communication
  • IS-650: Building Partnerships With Tribal Governments
  • IS-660: Introduction to Public-Private Partnerships
  • IS-909: Community Preparedness: Implementing Activities for Everyone


Target Audience

Full-time public information personnel who have completed the prerequisites.


  • Part-time public information officers with approval from course manager.
  • Students who have not attended this training in the previous five years may also apply.


Participants must have a minimum of 2 full years of full-time public information experience.

Student Selection

Class size is limited. Student selection is determined by target audience, prerequisite completion, and agency needs.



King County Office of Emergency Management
3511 Northeast 2nd Street
Renton, WA 98056

Click here for directions

Course Manager

Stephanie M. Hakala

Washington Emergency Management



Reasonable accommodations will be provided to attendees who have effective communication access needs, including limited English proficiency. We invite any person with a disability or other access or functional need and those who need to obtain course materials in an alternative format to please indicate your need in the registration/RSVP process.

Accommodations may include:

Sign Language Interpreter - Specify type of sign language (i.e., tactile, Signed English, ASL)

CART– Real-time captioning


Other Language needs - please indicate


If you have any further concerns or questions, please contact the course manager listed on this page or reach out to our State Training Staff at We will be happy to assist you.





Do not apply if you haven't completed the prerequisites or you don't meet the target audience.


Please note that once you have been confirmed into the course, you will then be directed to complete the NETC application through EMI.