Building this foundation of trust before you need it means it will be easier to correct rumors (or even communicate proactively to ward them off).
Reporters are like in-laws
Your relationship, granted, may always be a little bit tense. But think of reporters like your in-laws: you agree to disagree with their opinions so that your kids don’t see you fighting with the grandparents, aunts or uncles they love. You model the right behavior.
This takes work, many family gatherings and even a few misunderstandings. It takes consistency and patience and faith, lots of small gestures made over time. You may even have to start fresh as reporters rotate beats or leave jobs or change positions. And it may take creativity to notice changes in reporters’ treatment of your agency, at least at first.
Sure, some reporters have massive chips on their shoulders, just like some family members are completely psychotic. But the majority are, like you, overworked and underpaid. Make their jobs easier and they’ll do likewise -- so that when the situation demands you resort to command and control, they’ll respond the way you’ve so often wished they would.
About The Author:
Christa M. Miller consults on public relations and marketing for the digital forensics and law enforcement communities. She is founder of Cops 2.0, the longest-running blog covering social media and high tech use in law enforcement. She resides in Greenville, SC and can be emailed at Christa@ChristaMMiller.com.