In Case You Missed It: Tampa PD’s Laura McElroy on Crisis Management

“The media is like a big dog. If you feed it, you stay in control. If you don’t, they’ll get into your trash.” – Laura McElroy

HowLaura McElroy do you communicate during a crisis when everyone’s watching? That’s the question we posed to Laura McElroy, media relations specialist at the Tampa PD. Drawing from recent events in Ferguson and right here in Tampa, Laura discussed how managing an organization’s message is key to staying in control of the situation.

Managing the Message

A few key points:

  • Don’t try to hide the truth: “The public has the right to know all of the facts as soon as possible. Information flows too quickly nowadays to rely on just ‘hoping it doesn’t get out’ as a strategy.”
  • Make sure you stay in control of your messaging. The media and the public will draw their own conclusions based off of what you say – or don’t say. “The media is like a big dog. If you feed it, you stay in control. If you don’t, they’ll get into your trash.”
  • Social media is a valuable tool – use it wisely! “Social media is the way the world talks to each other today. We use it to connect our staff and officers with the community.”

Check out a hilarious example of the Tampa PD using social media, featuring Call Me Maybe!

Internship Opportunity

Great news: Laura’s department is seeking an intern! If you have a knack for social media, writing, video or design, apply for an internship at the Tampa PD’s media relations office. You can contact Laura at laura.mcelroy@tampagov.net. Don’t forget to tell her you’re from USF PRSSA!

Click here for more details: Tampa PD – Social Media Internship

We’ll see you next Wednesday for our next meeting! We’re bringing a speaker from the Tampa Bay Rays to teach us the sports PR playbook! Be there and #exPRSSAyourself

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