During the last seminar the VALOR class was honored to have Ms. Corinne Geller speak to us on Crisis Communication. Corinne is the Public Relations Manager for the Virginia State Police. As a member of the Superintendent’s Office, she oversees the statewide public/media relations program for the Department. She conducts all media relations training for State Police personnel and serves as a media relations instructor for law enforcement and public safety officials throughout VA. She is also the speech writer for the Department’s executive staff and is editor of the Department’s quarterly newsletter.
The first thing she spoke about was media relations. When it comes to media, everyone is the media. The media no longer has specific people for specific jobs or reporters that have assigned “beats” it is anyone with a smartphone, a tablet or a computer. With social media, you can make the news, you can be the news, and remember you are always “on”. This viral nature can work for or against you.
Her tips included the following:
1. Give the facts and only the facts- (Bare Facts first) Time, Where, and then add facts to paint the picture. Remember information goes around the globe in 4.2 seconds.
2. Get it right the first time. Never assume or guess. Know the Facts and only the Facts. It is truly amazing the power of one word.
3. Be prepared to answer and conclude.
4. If you do not know the answer-state that you will get back in a timely manner. This is professional courtesy.
5. Remember print is permanent.
6. Have what you have to say in 8 to 10 seconds
7. Make sure you eliminate the threat for your target audience or who is directly involved in your target audience.
8. Keep it simple. Do not use jargon.
9. If you are going to speak on TV or to the media be sure to check your appearance, look around the area you are bringing them to. Look is everything appropriate to convey your message.
10. Always stay in your swim lane –don’t deviate. Transparency is so important.
11. Watch your words-use words that do not excite.
We want to thank Ms. Geller for taking time out of her busy schedule and giving up a Friday afternoon to teach us the very relevant leadership skill. Be sure to follow the Virginia State Police on Facebook