Case Study: US Census Bureau – full day media relations training
We provided a day-long custom media training session to the New York Regional Bureau employees at the US Census Bureau. The goal of the session was to help staffers prepare for their role in the 2004 Census Test when they met with community groups and the media.
During the day we covered six select topics:
- Message Development: the Foundation of Strategic Communications
- Essential Tips for Delivering Better Media Interviews
- Mock on camera interviews with performance critiques
- Crisis Communications & Lessons Learned from Census 2000
- The Press Release: Fundamentals of Packaging Your News
- Writing and Implementing Your Communications Plan
We used a workshop format designed to offer an interactive hands-on experience. For example, each participant worked with the instructor and their colleagues to build a “Message Box” related to the census activity. We deepened participant’s understanding of using readability and plain English practices in public relations with a vocabulary quiz.
We worked closely with the US Census Bureau Communications office to develop this training using examples tailored to the Census Bureau experience, including Census 2000 examples. The Crisis Communications section included relevant role-playing exercises.
Following the training session, we prepared written critiques of each participant’s on-camera performance. Each participant received a copy of the video along with their critique, with the office leader receiving a report for the entire group. The training session gave office leaders the opportunity to test their staff’s abilities at media relations, particularly on-camera interviews. Later that year, office leaders selected top performers to take part in local news media interviews.