IACP 2015 Public Information Officers Track – An Attendee Perspective

Guest blogger: Lieutenant Zach Perron, Palo Alto, California, Police Department

Public_InfoAre you coming to Chicago this fall for the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference and Exposition (IACP 2015)? If you’re a police chief, a public information officer, and/or a social media manager for your agency, you should register now – the Public Information Officers (PIO) Section Track has an amazing line-up of instructional workshops this year!

IACP 2015 will be my sixth consecutive IACP Annual Conference and Exposition, and in that time, I’ve attended virtually every class offered in the PIO Section Track. I’ve found that these classes are taught by a group of experienced, motivated, successful veteran personnel who want to help by sharing their expertise. It’s a remarkably positive learning environment. The experiences I’ve had since Orlando in 2010 have helped to turn me into a successful, knowledgeable public information officer who now has a network of professional contacts across the world. No other police training conference is able to provide that on the huge, global scale of the IACP, which now has more than 25,000 members worldwide.

Even beyond the benefits to me personally, my agency has profited from the training I’ve received at the IACP Annual Conference. By learning from speakers from around the world and agencies large and small alike, we’ve been able to glean the contemporary best practices in crisis communications, public relations, and social media strategy. We’ve been able to completely remake our public affairs program, incorporating those best practices along the way, and have transformed our agency’s reputation and standing in our community as a result.IACP TV

The networking aspect of the relationships formed at the IACP Annual Conference cannot be overemphasized. As just one example, there’s a group of several dependable PIO friends I have from agencies of all different sizes in different regions of the country who routinely bounce ideas and problems off of each other via e-mail and the occasional phone call. The ability to gain their diverse insights into a particular issue from a multitude of perspectives and backgrounds, just with a simple e-mail or phone call, is amazing.

Here’s a blurb about just three of the twelve PIO Section Track sessions being offered this year:

  • Improving and Maintaining Successful Community Partnerships: Marketing Our Agencies in the Post-Ferguson Era. Now more than ever, law enforcement must do everything possible to create and foster partnerships with the community. See examples of progressive and practical programs to assist in those endeavors.
  • Social Media Boot Camp. Learn social media tips and tricks from two police departments in the heart of Silicon Valley in this fast-paced workshop. Avoid the many common online mistakes that agencies often make, and borrow marketing tips from the private sector.
  • Tips and Tricks to Know If Your Social Media Efforts Are Working. Your department may be actively posting on social media, but is it working? Learn the importance of measuring your social media efforts, how to maximize your effectiveness, and explore available tools to make your job easier.

For more information on all of the PIO Section Track workshop offerings, as well as more than 200 other educational sessions available at this year’s conference, visit www.theiacpconference.org. I hope to see you in Chicago on October 24!

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