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No News Is NOT Good News: The Role of PIOs in Jails [Internet Broadcast]

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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?

No News Is NOT Good News: The Role of PIOs in Jails [Internet Broadcast] - Introduction

This segment introduces the importance of communication and working with the media to share good news from the field of corrections and jails. The five objectives for the broadcast are introduced. The segment concludes with brief introductions and professional backgrounds for all of the panelists that will be speaking throughout the broadcast.


Segment 1

In this segment, panelists Panda Adkins and Nicole Nishida discuss the evolving roles and responsibilities of the jail public information officer (PIO). Expectations and essential characteristics of a PIO are presented, and there is a brief discussion on three of the questions from the Public Information Officer (PIO) Self-Inventory assessment. The segment closes with a brief commentary from the panelists and answers to questions from the chat.

Segment One - Part Two

In this segment, panelists Nicole Nishida, Simon Crittle, and James Keith discuss how PIOs can effectively communicate their messages and work with the media. Proactive communication is discussed, as well as strategies and tools, such as social media, for POIs to utilize in order to be successful. This segment also includes multiple excerpts of corrections related news broadcasts that illustrate the concepts discussed. Exemplary methods for controlling positive and negative information are showcased.

Segment 1 - Part 3

In this segment, panelists Derrick Jackson, Michael "Mike" Dooley and Yolanda Evans discuss the importance of PIOs developing relationships with communities, as well as the value of connecting directly with the community which helps PIOs to select the best strategies and tools to communicate with the public. Strategies for effective communication are discussed, such as getting involved in community activities, education, and actively listening to the public's wants and needs regarding corrections. Multiple video clips from PIO initiated broadcasts are provided as examples, as well as examples of community outreach programs. The segment concludes with a brief Q&A session.

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Segment 1 - Part 4

The final segment of the broadcast summarizes the major concepts covered, and includes closing comments by the panelists. Finally, there is a brief discussion and vignette about the importance of work-life balance, and links to additional trainings and resources available through the NIC are provided.

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