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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78006 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Conducting a Communications Audit - The First Step to Going Beyond Conventional Police Press and Community Relations
Journal: Police Chief  Volume:48  Issue:6  Dated:(June 1981)  Pages:65-69
Author(s): A B Bernstein
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The objectives and format of a police press and community relations audit are discussed.
Abstract: Effective police press and community relations requires an assessment of current activities in these areas. This communications audit permits police administrators to view their own attitudes toward public communications and critically evaluate policies and programs. Further, the audit provides a guide for enhancing the police image, supporting police operations, setting priorities, allocating resources, and persuading audiences. Specific audit objectives are to define communications objectives, identify internal and external audiences and their relative importances, and define recurrent themes to be emphasized. An audit should also determine what the public knows about police activities, what communications approaches are effective with various audiences, and appropriate courses of action necessary to fill communication gaps. The audit may be conducted by officers in the department or by an outside consultant. The audit should remain flexible, so that structure, goals, and audit questions are revised as new information permits a more accurate view of problems and issues. During the audit, management should be questioned about its understanding of the department's overall goals, objectives, and public affairs policies. Department managers should also be interviewed about specific community affairs concerns. In addition, the audit should determine where the department stands on labor relations issues; how well press and community relations personnel perform their general duties, special programs, and campaigns; and the competence of the public affairs staff. The audit should also consider how well the public affairs staff is used by the department; whether individual programs or projects contain the objectives, the staff, and the funds to be effective; and what methods may be of use to the department in conducting press and community relations activities. A bibliography of nine citations is provided.
Index Term(s): Police community relations; Police management; Press relations
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