City Debuts Virtual Newsroom
Website will Facilitate Crisis Communication in Time for Hurricane Season
May 28, 2010 -- The City of Houston is launching a "one-stop-shop" for media communication. The City of Houston Newsroom, located at www.houstongovnewsroom.org, serves as a repository for press releases, fact sheets, and media alerts for city departments. The site, designed for crisis communications such as tropical storms or hurricanes, will allow the city to dramatically improve communication with its media partners during disasters and on a daily basis.
“In the event of a man-made or natural disaster, the city needs a quick and dependable mechanism for communicating critical information to the media and the public,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “This new system ensures we will be able to get that information out, particularly since the 2010 hurricane season is around the corner.”
City public information officers and media relations personnel will be able to easily send documents to the news media, even if city servers are not operational due to a hurricane, flooding, other weather disasters or another type of emergency. The site is supported by the Public Information Emergency Response (PIER) system and was purchased using Homeland Security Grant funding through the Urban Areas Security Initiative. PIER is a component of a regional communications initiative that includes the offices of emergency management in Harris, Galveston, Fort Bend, and Montgomery Counties, the Harris County Department of Education's Center for Safe and Secure Schools, Johnson Space Center, Texas Medical Center, and the University of Houston. In addition to the Houston Newsroom, the City of Houston also uses PIER to host the Office of Emergency Management and Houston Police Department's web pages.
Members of the media may join the Houston Newsroom mailing lists or update their contact information by visiting www.houstongovnewsroom.org and clicking the Join Mailing List tab. News releases and information about city events is also available by following the houstontxdotgov Twitter account (www.twitter.com/houstontxdotgov). During an emergency, crisis communications will also be transmitted through the Mayor's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MayorAnniseParker in addition to the houstontxdotgov Twitter account.