Law Enforcement Public Relations

bodyworn-794099_1920Law enforcement has been getting a good deal of negative attention lately, and it’s more important than ever to be ready in case these controversies hit your department. Having a plan in place for law enforcement PR can help your police department recover if something happens and goes viral.

Control the Message

Unfortunately, today’s news cycle isn’t limited to giving interviews to the media and managing what is shared and when. It’s much more likely that someone will have a cell phone video of one of your officers during an incident, and this video might be shared widely on social media before you even know the facts.

With an appropriate law enforcement PR plan, you can be ready to deal with what’s being shared and able to respond in a more informed and organized way to share your side of the story quickly. You may not be able to stop a video or commentary from being shared, but you can control how you respond.

Manage Public Records Requests

A highly publicized incident generally can lead to a flood of requests for public records, taxing your staff during an already difficult time. With proper law enforcement public relations, you can manage the requests for public records in a way that complies with the law and also serves your department.

When you have an incident that draws high-profile coverage and wide media interest, it’s important to be prepared. The better you plan before something happens, the more ready you’ll be to handle the social media and traditional media pressures.

Protect Your Department From Hysteria

Unfortunately, the coverage that police departments receive is far from charitable and levelheaded. You’re likely to be hit with a lot of negative assumptions and hysteria. To protect your department from scrutiny and keep everyone focused on work no matter what happens, you need to have a plan in place.

Plan ahead. Experienced practitioners, like Sara Brady PR, have the ability to create a law enforcement PR plan that addresses how to manage responses, requests for public records and interviews that most likely will occur. When you have a plan in place, you’ll be able to work confidently, knowing you are ready for controversy if it comes.