Any public agency knows that a community’s trust is the best measure of return of investment. And how does an organization gain trust? Through its engagement with the community they serve. Today’s resource speaker joins the Justice Clearinghouse to share their agency’s public relations strategy and how it impacts public perception.
Corey Dobridnia is from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office where she’s been the Public Information Officer since 2015. She’s been awarded Public Information Officer of the Year by both Florida Law Enforcement Public Information Officer’s Association and Florida Association of Public Information Officers. Corey previously worked as the weekend anchor for WMBB News13 in Panama City.
Specifics discussed in this session include:
- An overview of Walton County Florida and its Public Information Office.
- The significance of creating a public relations mission that:
- Has a consistent voice distinct to the ‘brand’.
- Focuses on action instead of wishful thinking.
- Features both positive and negative news and stories.
- Builds and fosters the currency of trust with the community.
- Establishing and emphasizing that public relations do not rely on the Public Information Office alone but to each and every staff representing the agency as they face the community.
- Working internally to secure the buy-in of everyone within the team by:
- Motivating them through a sense of autonomy, mastery, and/or purpose in the role they’re playing.
- Providing a platform where team members’ ideas and suggestions are heard.
- Getting the team members involved in the mission through training and recognition.
- The importance of having visibility in more than just one communication platform while also balancing this out with ensuring they are not bombarded with communication.
- The various modes of communication that Walton County is leveraging to communicate internally and with the community, and examples of how they do these.
- Highlighting the importance of branding by looking at an example that demonstrated how employee conduct reflects on the brand they represent.
- improving an agency’s brand reputation and communication strategy through:
- Conducting new-hire training on branding as part of the onboard process.
- Offering refresher courses for more tenured personnel.
- Reminding everyone that they are all representing the agency in their day to day interaction.
- Questions that Corey addressed during the Q&A were about:
- Convincing personnel to be a part of the content for internal communications and community engagement.
- Details on how they teach values and branding during the new hire training.
- Getting all agency personnel to get on board with the public relations efforts.
- Designing and building their agency app.
- Shifting the angle when telling a story to different audiences.
- “These are topics that I learned about in a PIO training but I liked the modern update regarding the Sheriff’s Office app and the internal communications that were available on it.” — John
- “I really liked seeing that there are better ways to communicate rather than email, which is so excessive these days. I thought the presenter had super creative ideas. I also loved the genuineness of having the officers read the compliments they received, and get their honest reactions. How clever! Great presentation.” — Britney
- “We really like the idea of highlighting new recruits and teaching them about the brand early on. Great job!” — Shonda
- “One of the best webinars I have watched in a long time. Thank you.” — Thomas
- “The information you communicate to the public is just as important to communicate internally.” — Jennifer
- “The presenter did a great job. She really knew her stuff, covered the basics and some. Well done!” — Heather