Public Information Officer Course - Managing the Media in Law Enforcement

32 Hour Training Course / KLEC Certified
Tuition: $700

Course Description:

Given the current climate in the country involving police-media relations, this unique course may involve the most relevant, timely and valuable training you will ever receive. The media wields an enormous amount of influence in how communities perceive law enforcement. This hands-on, practical training helps Law Enforcement communicate more effectively with the media and the community.

The course provides participants with practical experience and strategies in how to effectively communicate on-camera in preparation of press conferences, media interviews and public speaking events.

This course will help you not only develop and refine your communication skills, but also leave you with a better understanding of the needs of the media. Learn how to maintain control and manage media interviews, press conferences and public speaking events through focused preparation, powerful messaging and confident delivery.

From body language to choice of words and phrases, you may be sending the wrong message to the media and more importantly, to the public.

During this course, we will turn the news camera on you and ask the tough questions through practical exercises that will ensure confidence and proficiency.

The training includes relevant and timely subject matter involving police-media relations and exposes police commanders and executives to the elements necessary to be an effective communicator. A variety of topics and strategies will be reviewed and demonstrated that will prepare participants to engage with the media and communicate in a confident, successful, and effective manner.

The course also examines challenges law enforcement leaders encounter in the areas of communication and crisis management messaging and how those challenges influence community perception and support. This course of training analyzes the state of contemporary media, its impact on law enforcement by examining key factors influencing reportorial and editorial coverage. Practical and scenario-based exercises, along with information sharing and discussion within the class, will provide the opportunity for course participants to understand issues from many different viewpoints to assist them in grasping the concepts as they are discussed.

The learning environment for this course is highly interactive and involves extensive on-camera coaching, group discussion and exercises, analysis of press conferences and media interviews. Participants will learn proven strategies and techniques that will enable them to communicate confidently and more effectively.

Course Topics and Areas of Study:

  •  Understanding the Media
  •  Building critical relationship with the media
  •  How to develop a proactive marketing strategy for your organization
  •  Managing media interviews press conferences and public speaking events
  •  Managing the media during significant events
  •  Preparation strategies for effective communication
  •  Identifying individual communication styles
  •  Developing messaging strategies
  •  Keeping your media message on track
  •  Practical exercises involving on-camera coaching and assessment
  •  Discussion of participant issues or local challenges with the press

Course Materials and Equipment


Course materials (i.e., Powerpoint presentations, handouts, articles, etc.) will be provided electronically for this course on a computerized access link provided to registered students prior to the class.   It is highly recommended that students download course materials to a laptop, tablet or other device  prior to the first day of class and bring the device with them to the course.  Otherwise, students should print SPI-provided course materials from the access link and bring printed materials with them to class.

In order to download course materials from the access link, PowerPoint, Word, and Excel software (Office Suite) should be installed on laptop, tablet or other device.

Who Should Attend:

Supervisory-level personnel, command and executive level personnel desiring to hone their skills and interactions with the media. Law enforcement public information/media officers seeking professional/career development may also benefit from this course.


Rob Tufano

Upcoming Training and Lodging:

If this course is not currently scheduled, it can be brought to your region by a co-hosting agency or through a contract. Learn more.


Click here to register for courses.

What Our Graduates Are Saying:

“Course was excellent.  It will be very helpful in my new assignment.”

“Excellent course!  Very professional atmosphere and I would recommend this course to anyone in public relations.”

“I believe that this course provided a wealth of information.  The instructor’s knowledge and experience provided the class with practical information.  This information was used to practice on-camera training.  All the information and practice will translate to use in the field.”

“The course materials are tremendous and I’ll consistently be using them as a reference/resource.”

“This class was a great learning experience and the right length of time.  I appreciated the balance of instruction and practical exercises.  I’m definitely more confident with the on-camera interviews I have to do as my role as PIO.”

“The course was worth attending.  I learned many best practices from the instructor and my classmates.  The flow was just right and the supplemental materials will be later reviewed – especially during interview prep.  I especially appreciated the individual feedback on participant performance.”

“This was a very valuable course.  I learned what we were doing right and wrong.  I learned several valuable lessons on how to improve not only my image when dealing with the media, but also my department’s.”

“Great course.  Was very helpful with preparing for any media contact and being able to relate to the community during an interview while maintaining control of a case.  This was my first SPI course and I plan on attending more classes.”

“Very worthwhile!  After 27 years as an officer and numerous media briefings, this is the first formal training I have had.”

“Excellent course.  I would recommend this to my fellow command staff members, as well as our potential hire for PIO.  I definitely feel a lot more comfortable in front of the camera and armed with the required knowledge in class.”

“This course was absolutely beneficial.  The instructor, Rob Tufano, was extremely engaging, very educated with the subject and extremely in-tune with the students.  He provided great feedback and very key and useful tips to make our jobs more effective and engaging.  5 stars for Tufano; very passionate about media relations.”

“This course is very informative.  Wish I had the opportunity to have taken course years ago.  I have learned a lot to improve my performance as a PIO.  Course was presented in an easy to understand manner.”

“The course was great.  It’s definitely a great wealth of knowledge having the amount of experienced professionals teaching and running the class.”

“The class was outstanding.  The time spent on-camera was a great experience.  The level of professionalism was fantastic.”  

"In our line of work, we will encounter the media at some point. This class was the best training that can be given. It was very informative and will give officers the tools they need to handle media relations....Excellent class."

"Good course. Definitely needed in this day and age."

"Communications are just as important as firearms training and self-defense tactics. Police agencies need to be proactive and engage the media to tell the stories of the organization....The format of this class allowed for individual and group learning in a safe environment."

"The course is extremely valuable. It has assisted me in the area of interview prep. It has also given me knowledge of various techniques to deal with tough questions. Course is excellent overview of dealing with and preparing for live interviews."

"This has been one of the most useful and practical courses I have taken in LE. Communication within the media to the community is imperative to a strong and effective police department. Rob is a great coach and instructor."

"The material covered in this class is vital for law enforcement today. Learning how to craft message points, flagging your message points and bridging back when being led off point, provides a level of confidence when interviewing with the media, not previously experienced. I would highly recommend this class for both executive level as with the PIOs."

"This was an excellent course and provided a good variety of discussion, relevant content, and hands on training. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who has regular interaction with the media. Rob Tufano has a great background with his previous law enforcement experience and media experience."

"Appreciate a course being offered which covers PIO topics. Not a lot around. Good mix of lecture time and hands on practicing in various scenarios behind the camera."

"This course was incredible. I have learned so much in this short four days. Keep offering this class. Great resource for law enforcement in this nation."

"I liked that there was a log of practice in front of the camera. There was a lot of constructive criticism. It helped everyone in the class to get better and improve."

"Very informative and well-designed course. This training should be forced out to more agencies to make them aware of the course and to have their PAO’s or upper management members attend."

"Good course. It offered a chance to do live news scenarios and to be crossed examined by reporter simulating a real time environment."

"I feel this course was very beneficial for police PIOs and law enforcement officers in general. The class builds public speaking skills and abilities, as well as confidence. The course highlighted ways to improve deliveries and demeanor while in front of a video camera. Highly recommended!"

"Excellent opportunity for the newest PIO or for a seasoned veteran. Key points clearly explained and time for practical exercises. Immediate feedback from class and instructor."

"This course was very worthwhile. Dealing with media is important and increasing. There are very few classes covering this topic…. The practical exercises were realistic and helpful. Having a trip to a TV station is a great way to wrap up what we have learned."