Washington State Emergency Management Division


G0290 Basic Public Information Officer

Tuesday, June 21, 2022 to Wednesday, June 22, 2022
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Daily

Course Description

Public information consists of the processes, procedures and systems to communicate timely, accurate and accessible information to affected audiences. Armed with good information, people are empowered to make better decisions and thus contribute to the overall response goal of saving lives and protecting property. Personnel tasked with gathering, verifying, coordinating and disseminating public information at the federal, state, tribal, local and territorial levels bear this considerable responsibility concurrently with other job assignments. These Public Information Officers (PIOs) must be provided with the opportunity to learn and practice the skills they will use on the job.


The Basic Public Information Officer Course (G0290) is a two-day course, designed to provide participants with the opportunity to start applying basic concepts underlying the Public Information Officer (PIO) role. This course can provide a basic understanding of the PIO function for those new to the position.

Course Objectives
  • Explain why emergency public information is important during an incident. (Unit 1)
  • Recognize the functional needs and challenges of different audiences. (Unit 1)
  • Demonstrate the role and function of the PIO in both day-to-day and emergency environments. (Unit 2)
  • Compare actions PIOs can take to work with the news media during day-to-day and emergency situations. (Unit 2)
  • Using the strategic communications planning model, develop a public awareness campaign (95%). (Unit 3)
  • Using the strategic communications planning model, develop an incident communications strategy (5%). (Unit 3)
  • Explain the news briefing cycle. (Unit 4)
  • Outline media needs at the scene. (Unit 4)
  • Describe the difference between media briefings and press conferences. (Unit 4)
  • Describe different public information written products. (Unit 5)
  • Apply effective news release writing guidance. (Unit 5)
  • Adapt or repurpose written media products for other purposes. (Unit 5)
  • Describe what types of impressions specific body language might convey during an interview. (Unit 6)
  • Identify elements of an interview the PIO should consider ahead of time. (Unit 6)
  • Identify steps a PIO needs to take to prepare for and conduct a news interview. (Unit 6)
  • Demonstrate effective techniques for on-camera interviews. (Unit 6)
  • Given an emergency scenario, apply public information skills. (Unit 7)
  • Recall course key points. (Unit 8)



  • IS-29 Public Information Officer Awareness

To complete this course, please follow this link: IS-29



  • IS-100 Introduction to Incident Command System (ICS) (any version)
  • IS-702 National Incident Management System Public Information Systems
  • IS-909 Community Preparedness: Implementing Simple Activities for Everyone


Visit FEMA's Emergency Management Institute to complete these Independent Study courses.


Target Audience

The primary audience for this training is individuals who have public information responsibilities as their main job or as an auxiliary function at the federal, state, local, tribal or territorial level of government, and in the private and nongovernmental sectors.

Student Selection

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



Camp Murray, Building 91
91 Armor Drive
Camp Murray, WA 98430

Click here for directions

Course Contact


Sarah Foster

Washington Military Department



Stephanie M. Hakala

Washington EMD



*PLEASE NOTE: A completion certificate for IS-29 is required when you apply. DO NOT APPLY IF YOU HAVEN'T COMPLETED THE PREREQUISITE*