Show Notes

Air Date: 11/28/2023

Steve McCausland, Communications Specialist

In this episode, Steve McCausland returns to The PR Maven® Podcast to share more of his crisis communications wisdom. Starting with his background and career, Steve shares some examples of how to handle communicating during crises based on his 30+ years working for Maine Public Safety. Steve and Nancy also give a look into their crisis communications training process, including some of their most important tips. Steve and Nancy discuss how the media landscape has changed throughout their careers as well and how that impacts your crisis communications strategy.

3:21 – Steve talks about his 30+ year career at Maine Public Safety.

4:57 – Steve explains how to stay calm in the face of a crisis.

9:18 – Steve shares the advice he gave to the Farmington deputy fire chief following the deadly 2019 explosion.

10:19 – Steve recounts the worst motor vehicle accident in Maine.

18:50 – Steve shares why you should never say “no comment.”

20:41 – Steve describes how the media landscape has changed since he began his career.

25:03 – Steve gives a piece of advice: don’t go off the record.

30:57 – Steve talks about why and how you should get ready for a crisis.

35:57 – Steve emphasizes the importance of rehearsing.

40:38 – Steve shares some resources that have been helpful to him.



“It is an incredibly important component of getting the information out, to show some empathy. You can do it with few words, but it shows that you care about what happened, for the victim, for the victim’s family and the businesses that may have been affected as well.” – Steve McCausland, communications specialist at Marshall Communications



Farmington explosion

Lac-Mégantic interviews

City of Lewiston Support Fund

AP Stylebook

“The Elements of Style” by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White


Listen to PR Maven® Podcast episode 82 on message mapping.

Listen to Steve’s first episode on The PR Maven® Podcast. 


About the guest:

Steve McCausland served 32 years as the spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, handling information on over 500 homicides, another 500 fire deaths and thousands of motor vehicle fatalities. Before retiring, he had a role in every major criminal investigation the department was involved in over those three decades. He served as an advisor to eight commissioners of public safety and eight chiefs of the State Police on media relations and public and governmental policy.

Steve started his media career as the news director of the radio station in Bath and worked part-time for the Portland Press Herald, Associated Press and WCSH-TV in Portland.

He was elected and served 20 years on the Brunswick Town Council, serving six of those years as chairman.