Why we plan the PIO Symposium each year


In our roles at APS, we do what all crisis managers insist their organizations should do – prepare for the worst and hope for the best (although we all know hope isn’t a strategy). We do tabletop drills to simulate crises, and have pages of pre-prepared guidance outlining the steps we would take and messages we would use in emergencies.

However, no amount of planning can replace relationships developed ahead of time. When you’re in crisis mode, you want to be able to turn to others you know and trust for a collaborative response. Ensuring coordination can save time, and there are few things more valuable than time in a crisis.

This is why we started the PIO Symposium three years ago and continue to host the event each year.

The talented network of Public Information Officers who work at government agencies, corporations and non-profits throughout Arizona help manage crisis issues on a daily basis. At APS, we saw the opportunity for PIOs from across the state to gather, share experiences and learn from each other. Plus, we were a little selfish in our planning because we at APS need to know the key Arizona PIOs, since we interact with you regularly.

To produce the symposium, we partner with ASU, one of the top communications schools in the country – a school that is busy churning out and shaping the next generation of our industry – and we work to bring in national-caliber speakers to help us bond as teammates and collectively continue to grow in our profession.

Wondering what great speakers we have on tap this year? I’ll give you a hint … our confirmed keynote has led the way in bringing pretty much every professional sports team to the Valley. With this year’s theme – “Leading the Way: In Good and Bad Times” – I’m certain he fits the bill. Plus, we’ll fill the agenda with additional top-notch speakers and panelists. You just never know who is going to show up at the Arizona PIO Symposium!

So … if you haven’t attended this PIO Symposium in the past, what are you waiting for?!

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