November 02, 2005 11:30 ET

Learning from Hurricane Katrina: Communications

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 2, 2005) -

Communication expert Charles Pizzo Speaks in Vancouver November 8

When Hurricane Katrina blew out the electricity in New Orleans, telephones failed and television and government web sites plunged into darkness. It made today's major public information facilities inaccessible to millions of people. Communication expert Charles Pizzo, a native of New Orleans, witnessed first-hand the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. Based on that experience, and his 20 years in communications, Mr. Pizzo will address professional communicators in Vancouver on avoiding communications mistakes and how to prepare for communication in the dark-when technology fails.

"Businesses were caught off guard by the scope and duration of Hurricane Katrina," said Mr. Pizzo.

"Commerce was disrupted, employees were displaced, and customers were impacted. Essential personnel were forced to abandon their posts because of government-issued mandatory evacuation orders. There was an over reliance on technology for communications-and it failed. Are businesses prepared for a disruption on that scale?"

"Charles Pizzo is a well-respected communicator and has spoken on crisis communications following September 11th and the lessons learned from the Columbia space shuttle tragedy," said Maureen Healey, ABC, IABC/BC President. "We're delighted to host this event to allow communicators for Vancouver-area businesses and other organizations to learn from New Orleans' misfortunes." A former IABC chairman of the board, Charles Pizzo is a top-rated speaker and has written on many technology communication issues.

The BC chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators will host the breakfast meeting on Tuesday, November 8 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 655 Burrard Street, Vancouver.

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a not-for-profit international network of professionals committed to improving the effectiveness of organizations through strategic interactive and integrated business communication management. With more than 100 chapters, IABC serves 13,500 members in 60 countries and 10,000 organizations.

IABC/BC, the BC chapter, has a membership of over 380 communications professionals. They provide a vital link between their organizations and the community, by informing residents about products, services, issues and programs that affect their lives. They also help their organization "listen" to the public and other partners who are affected by their actions. IABC members adhere to a strict code of ethics to ensure their behaviour is in keeping with their significant social responsibilities.

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