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Surviving the Circus: How Effective Leaders Work Well with the Media

NCJ Number
Police Chief Volume: 76 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2009 Pages: 52-54,57
Gerald W. Garner
Date Published
March 2009
4 pages
This article examines how those who lead law enforcement agencies can develop an effective working relationship with the media through communication.
Working with the media is not complicated. Collaborating positively is more rewarding than fighting with each other. Police leaders and reporters have a lot to offer each other. Together, the police and media can achieve a win-win situation. The community benefits, from learning about the threats to public safety and what law enforcement officers are doing about those threats. In the development of an effective police-media collaborative relationship, police leaders must establish credibility through their asset of personal integrity. Police leaders must be truthful with reporters to survive the media circus. Several issues addressed in this article to help police leaders work effectively with the media include: finding common ground for mutual benefit, interview guidelines, dealing with difficult questions, handling bad news, and fostering positive media relationships.