Attribute to Karen Jones, Deputy Chief Executive: Public Affairs, NZ Police:
NZ Police is implementing changes to its Public Affairs and communications model to reflect major changes in the wider environment and to deliver more consistent level of service internally and externally. This follows consultation with affected staff and a survey with almost 300 responses from journalists and their news organisations.
The survey of news organisations undertaken by Police earlier this year and a benchmarking review found an inconsistent approach to media relations and communications across Police. While there was some positive commentary, there was also a large amount of dissatisfaction expressed with the current model, which is largely unchanged in recent years despite very significant changes in the media environment.
Police is also experiencing a significant increase in media and social media requests, reflecting the evolving media and online landscape and the move to centralised news functions and the 24/7 news cycle.
To address this changing demand Police is moving to a more centralised and extended media servicing model, with Public Affairs hubs based in Wellington and in Auckland.
The change will see a seven-day-a-week media relations and social media service being established from early 2016. The service will operate from around 6am to 9pm, with communications centres and an on-call system handling urgent media issues outside these hours as currently occurs.
In order to make these changes, the current district-based communications roles and some Police National Headquarters roles are being disestablished or changed and a number of new roles are being created in Wellington and Auckland. There is an overall increase of two in Public Affairs staffing resources.
The aim of the changes is to enable a more responsive and consistent service for Police staff and media which better meets their evolving needs.
It is not proposed to change the current arrangements enabling Police staff to talk to media on matters they have responsibility for.
Police has by far the largest media demand of any government agency and this change reflects our commitment to communicating effectively through media and social media on issues which matter to our communities.
The new structure also reflects how equivalent police jurisdictions, particularly in Australia and the UK, manage theicommunications and media relations but retains arrangements which reflect New Zealand’s own media and policing environment.
We would like to acknowledge the media who took the time to participate in our survey earlier this year. This has given us a solid understanding of your needs.
- The results of the media survey are available on request by contacting the PNHQ Public Affairs Team.
- As part of the implementation plan for the new model, detailed information for media on how the new hubs will work and new contact information etc will be provided in January-February 2016.
Issued by PNHQ Public Affairs.