Spokesperson training at Madison County Joint Information Center

Spokesperson Training Held in Madison County

August 17, 2023

Community leadership, emergency management officials, and first responder partners gathered at the Madison County Joint Information Center for a Spokesperson for Leadership and Subject-Matter Experts Training offered by the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) and PAST Fusion Academy at Argonne National Laboratory.

This half-day training for policymakers, elected officials, and subject matter experts provided valuable tips and practice for interacting with the news media before, during, and after an emergency event. From on-camera interviews to message mapping and stagecraft skills, the course was geared for agency spokespersons with little or advanced skills alike. Key units in the course covered how to develop key messages, preparing for remote interviews, and engaging both media and local viewers when clear communication is critical.

Nineteen people participated between the two sessions, representing:

  • Blue Grass Chemical Activity
  • Eastern Kentucky University
  • Kentucky River Foothills Development Council
  • Lexington Emergency Management
  • Lexington Fire Department
  • Madison County Animal Shelter
  • Madison County Emergency Management Agency/CSEPP
  • Madison County Fire Department
  • Madison County Sheriff’s Office
  • Richmond Police Department
  • U.S. Army Chemical Materials Activity/CSEPP

A few participants left their reviews of PAST’s Spokesperson for Leadership and Subject Matter Expert Training:

“This training is incredibly thorough and really breaks down the many aspects of being a spokesperson. From media interviews to hosting a press conference, I feel fully prepared to be an accurate and effective spokesperson.” – Sarah Baker, Eastern Kentucky University Director of Public Relations

Spokesperson training attendee being interviewed on camera.

“The spokesperson training was very informative and helpful in preparing for delivering messages to the public and tips for how to be more effective in that process.” – Chief Tim Gray, Madison County Fire Department

“TOP NOTCH ADVICE AND CONTENT! This is a top-notch training for anyone new or experienced in serving as a Spokesperson. Their extensive knowledge, combined with friendly demeanor kept me at ease while they expanded my skills in my role as a PIO. The instructors provided excellent content and kept me engaged. I enjoyed how this course was organized and felt like I learned new information that will help me give better interviews in the future.” – Karen Atkins, Kentucky River Foothills Development Council Public Information Officer

“The spokesperson training was fast-paced and allowed you to get hands-on practice in low pressure environments and get immediate feedback.” – Derek Roberts, Lexington Fire Department Public Information Officer

Future CSEPP training opportunities can be found here: https://kyem.ky.gov/training/Pages/Bluegrass-CSEPP-Training.aspx

Guest Contributor: Makenzie Davis, Public Relations Coordinator, Madison County EMA/CSEPP