PIO Network


“Provide the right information,

To the right people,

At the right time,

So they can make the right decision.”

The Athens County Public Information Officer Network, is a working group of public information officers in Athens County, Ohio.

Emergency events dictate an immediate response to the community. Public communication is a critical response function following a terrorism incident, natural disaster, or other major emergency. Pre-incident planning, coordination, and preparation will improve the ability of local jurisdictions and Athens County to promote effective public safety, public health, and healthcare communications with the public during the response and recovery to an emergency.

The Athens County Public Information Officer Network provides PIOs with a multi-agency support structure and tools for developing, approving, and communicating public information.

What is a PIO?

Public Information Officers (PIOs) are the communications coordinators or spokespersons of certain governmental organizations (i.e. police departments, army, city, county, state governments). They differ from public relations departments of private organizations in that many of them typically do not engage in marketing, but solely in providing information to the public and the media as required by law and according to the standards of their profession.

Public Information Officers are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that the general public is kept abreast of any emergency situation in which it might be involved. Public information activities are essential to all emergency management functions. To maintain the highest quality of public information, public information officers are trained and practice the skills needed to successfully execute the requirements of the job, including oral and written communications, information dissemination, media interface and public information planning. Public information officers can operate from an office or from the field. During crises and emergencies, PIOs are often identified by wearing helmets or vests with the letters “PIO” on them.