How to Build a Strong and Effective PIO Team
By Brenda Duran
As public sector communicators, our organizations depend on us for helping them streamline their messaging to the communities we serve. In order to do an effective job, it is critical to think about the team that will help you achieve these goals and more.
Building a strong and effective public information team for your office means seeking out key skill sets and thinking big picture.
Here are some tips for your recruiting efforts and team planning for the future:
1. Seek to Add More Creatives to Your Team
Throughout the past year and a half, we have all been tasked with pivoting our services online. Posting key information and ensuring we keep people informed of the ever-changing developments can get stagnant. When you add creatives such as graphic artists, videographers and social media experts to your team, the options for engaging content become endless. Look to add these to your team to make your public information office a hit.
2. Look For Diverse Candidates
We have all heard about the importance of diversity. A diverse staff can make way for better marketing and communications, especially when it comes to the communities we serve. Diversity in our communication teams gives us all an opportunity to hear different perspectives, build better storytelling and help us engage with more people. Diversity, equity and inclusion applies not only to hiring but also to the information we put out. Working with a diverse team will set up any public information office for success and better equipped to dealing with our changing communities.
3. Soft Skills Are Essential
When looking to add new members to your public information team, make soft skills a priority. A combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, character or personality traits, attitudes, and emotional intelligence will enable your team to better navigate their fast-pace communications environment. More importantly, soft skills will allow your team to be able to work well with others, especially the media, in times of crisis.
By applying these tips, your next recruitment effort should provide you with some guidance on what to look for when building your team. After all, every public information office is only as good as the people in it, and the goal should always be to build a top tier team!
Brenda Duran is a strategic communications executive at the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Executive Office. She can be reached at bduran.com.