|This eight-hour course is designed to prepare law
enforcement and communication personnel for both the everyday
and the unique situations they may face in dealing with the news
will understand the importance of creating a positive
relationship with the media and how to best disseminate agency
information to the news media and the public.
The course highlights the responsibility that law
enforcement agencies have to the public regarding the release of
information and the benefits that can be derived by the agency
by meeting this obligation (as well as the pitfalls if the
agency fails in this endeavor). The
course will also give attendees insight in how the news media
operates, as well as a better understanding of the people that
are the reporters and editors that law enforcement personnel
come into direct contact with while dealing with the news media.
sometimes confrontational relationship between law
enforcement/communication personnel and members of the news media will
be explored with proven methods on how to avoid such confrontations or
how to best deal with those conflicts that will inevitably still occur.
The course will cover basic media contacts such as statements or
interviews on current crime incidents, critical or major incidents,
press conferences, press briefings, public relations events and press
Instructor: Major Rick McLaughlin is
retired from the
Major McLaughlin had two tours of duty as the Public Information
Officer for the KCPD and has taught media relations courses to law
enforcement, non-profit and business groups for over twenty years.
He is the owner of Video Perceptions, a video production and
media consulting company.
Content: Students will be given
instruction, case studies and a topical outline on each of the following
Importance of Positive Media Relations
it is important that a positive relationship be developed between the
agency and the local media outlets and how it benefits both the agency
and the public.
The Different Types of Media Contacts
enforcement agencies and
centers have regular contact with the news media.
An agency’s personnel should understand the aspects of
everything from daily contact to critical incidents and everything
in-between, including how to handle the sometimes confrontational and
negative contacts with the members of the news media.
Development of Agency Policies Regarding
the News Media and Dissemination of Information
enforcement/communication agencies need to have policies and procedures
in place and in writing on how various information and media contact
situations will be handled by the agency’s personnel.
This establishes the general tone of the agency regarding how its
personnel will interact with the media, it also creates an environment
and guidelines for agency personnel to avoid costly missteps when
dealing with members of the news media.
Critical Incidents and the News Media
||A major critical
incident requires special logistics and challenges for law
enforcement/communication personnel (especially the Public
Information Officer) in dealing with the news media.
Such incidents will not only draw all of the local news
media, but also members of the national and international news
prepared to deal with the news media in critical incident
situations is vitally important to the well-being of the agency,
its personnel and the public.
News Media Interviews
and techniques will be covered to allow students to deal with media
interviews. Several students
will actually be interviewed on camera with critiques by the members of
the class and the instructor to determine what to do and what not to do
when the camera and microphone are turned on.
course will benefit all law enforcement or communication personnel, as
any member of a law enforcement agency may have to face the news media
at some point in their career. Public
Information Officers, Detectives, first-line Supervisors to
executive-level Commanders and Chiefs, Dispatchers and their Supervisors
and agency Legal Staff will gain valuable information on how to best
deal with the news media. A
shortfall or mistake by just one member of an agency can seriously
damage the image of the department in the eyes of the public and create
the environment for a hostile future relationship between the agency and
the members of the news media.