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James Keith

Public Information Officers (PIOs) play a vital role in the local jail. The public’s perception and/or misperception of jail operations can influence public safety, funding, elections, and numerous other factors. Responding to media inquiries regarding crisis situations is just one of the many roles of the PIO. Building positive rapport with the media, telling your story, engaging the community and conveying your mission are priority tasks for a PIO.

Topics discussed during this broadcast include: Importance of a proactive community-minded approach to communicating your mission, vision and values; Characteristics of effective PIOs in contemporary media markets; Strategies for being the active voice of your jail and telling your story by engaging the media; Approaches for engaging the community with your jail’s mission; Opportunities for promoting a healthy work / life balance for PIOs; How you can build positive relationships and create rapport with your local media. Presenters will also share recommendations and resources.

This broadcast answers the following questions: Why is a comprehensive, proactive communication strategy necessary for jails? What are characteristics of an effective PIO in contemporary media markets? How do you build positive relationships and create rapport with your local media? How do you address the media’s needs and speak their language? How do you successfully pitch positive stories to the media? How do you build equity with your community so that you are not defined by crises or negative events? What is the importance of understanding your community’s demographics and values? What are some tools and strategies for engaging and connecting directly with your community? How do you effectively convey your message to the community? What steps can you take to promote a healthy work/life balance for PIOs? How can you find additional resources and ideas for enhancing your jail’s comprehensive communication strategy? What are the advantages to working with your community proactively to inform, educate, and gain support for your jail? What are the benefits of actively engaging the media in telling your stories? How do you leverage data to support your agency’s message? How can your agency use social media to promote your mission?

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