A lot has changed in terms of how people consume information and remain up to date with current events. From waiting to watch the news at a fixed time of the day, it is now available on-demand and accessible wherever we go. This convenience comes with a huge caveat though – the sources of information are just competing to be the first to break a story – inaccurate they may be.
Katie Nelson is back on the Justice Clearinghouse to help public safety agencies take control of the narrative away from the noise of misleading headlines. Katie is the Social Media and Public Relations Coordinator at the Mountain View Police Department in Northern California who’s in charge of the department’s social media and engagement efforts.
Katie’s discussion includes:
- Defining what journalism is meant to be and how it has evolved in the present day where it is focused on who gets dibs on a story regardless of its accuracy or lack thereof.
- The aspects of journalism in terms of fact-checking and verifying information that suffered and how it brought about the rise of misinformation.
- The challenges journalists face with social media and how agencies are utilizing these platforms to level the playing field and tell their story first-hand.
- Journalists’ struggle with lack of time keeping them from coming up with a unique angle to storytelling and the revenue aspect forcing journalists to remain in the race to be the first to break a story.
- The communities’ demand for better transparency and understanding and adapting to this by making important stories available on various platforms.
- How agencies can train the workforce to gather information and help tell the stories that the community must be made aware of and is interested in.
- The five ways to gathering information that provides an agency with the framework to building the stories to be provided to the public and ensure accuracy and fairness.
- Finding people who’d be interested in the storytelling, public information, and engagement work.
- How to effectively report as an agency and how doing so satisfies the media’s need for information and provides your workforce the time to do their job appropriately.
- Factors to consider and other tips to build effective content for public consumption.
- The importance of having the agencies taking control of the narrative as they are the experts and know their job more than anyone would, and how this ensures the community is informed and is not swayed by misleading headlines and assumptions.
- Statistics demonstrated the portion of the population using online means to access information, how stories are being consumed in the digital space, and the preferred sources and modes of information.
- Examples showed how social media is effectively utilized by agencies in their storytelling efforts.
Questions from the audience were about:
- Getting command staff to reconsider policies about releasing information and use of social media.
- The differences between a legitimate journalist and a self-anointed ‘expert.’
- Journalists’ specialties and beats.
- Managing media biases and forging working relationships with journalists to ensure they deliver accurate information.
- The value of utilizing social listening to investigate and solve cases.
- Sharing stories on events/efforts in partnership with other agencies and departments.
Other Webinars with this Speaker:
- Feb 10: Ensuring Your Chief is Ready for Media Interviews
- March 30: Public Information Post George Floyd
- Sept 21: Hearing Headlines: How You Get to the Meat of the Story (this webinar)
Resources and Handouts
- Handout: Reading list
- “The Statistics were the most informative. 2000-52 % using internet to 2019-90% using internet. As well as the demographics of users… The Audience……” — Evelyn
- “How we need to embrace social media as law enforcement agencies so that we can have more of a positive impact on everyone, especially the younger generation. Great presentation!” — Marc
- “It really gave me new ideas on how we can use social media.” — Nicole