CACP Bulletin

Spring 2018

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6 CACP Spring 2018 D uring the CACP Strategic Communications Planning Framework meeting held in July 2016, it was agreed that a strategic communications strategy is essential for the association to move forward effectively and maintain relevance with its members and stakeholders. In 2017, the Board of Directors supported a resolution confirming the addition of a new position dedicated to the communications function. In November 2017, a Communications Advisor was hired to complement the government relations and strategic communication efforts of Mr. Tim Smith. I have the pleasure of serving as this new Communications Advisor. The CACP is the second professional association I have had the privilege to work with in my career. What I have learned after over 25 years in communications, marketing and public education for Crown Corporations, the private sector and non-profit organizations is that, regardless of the organization, an important key to success is the ability to provide your stakeholders (members, employees, clients, partners, etc.) with the relevant information they need, when they need it, in a format that is convenient and practical for them. A communications strategy is all about defining success. By that I mean that the strategy identifies the outcomes the CACP is hoping to achieve and the issues or gaps it strives to address. The strategy also defines a series of goals and objectives aimed at meeting your information needs and expectations (because you are the association's #1 priority) as well as those of other key stakeholders such as the Board of Directors, committees, the government, academia, partners, sponsors, the media and the general public. It is with these outcomes, goals and objectives in mind that communication initiatives will be identified and implemented. It is against these outcomes, goals and objectives that the success of our communications efforts will be evaluated. Let me begin by saying that my arrival does not mark the beginning of communications for the CACP. There was already an impressive suite of communications tools and resources in place when I arrived. So this strategy is not about starting from scratch. It's about creating a framework and adding structure. It's about building on the existing foundation, refocusing certain initiatives, as well as recommending actions and introducing new ideas to maximize the association's resources. It's also about increasing the effectiveness, reach and impact of CACP interactions, particularly between the leadership team, committees and the membership. In his President's Message, Directeur Harel indicated that the CACP wants to implement membership/Board communications that: • support and engage members; • support work-sharing, information exchange/discussions and polling; • promote best practices; and • facilitate issues management. We recognize that many news headlines focus on issues and challenges you are dealing with every day. Our goal is to focus on building trust and confidence in policing by shifting the focus to the more positive side of policing to ensure it gets its fair share of attention and air time. We propose to do this through proactive media relations combined with dynamic updates to our website and the creative use of social media, etc. Directeur Harel went on to state that "many of the CACP's com- munications efforts have been disparate and reactive." On March 21st 2018, the Board of Directors expressed support for a communications strategy that is proactive, integrated and sustained. So what does that mean exactly? A FOCUS ON ADVANCED PLANNING A number of projects, events and initiatives have known dates or timelines associated with them. I have pulled together a communi- cations calendar which outlines these initiatives over the course of the year, essentially providing me with a work plan. The calendar includes national awareness days/weeks/months as well as timelines related to committee projects, CACP conferences, publications, public education campaigns, and national office administrative processes (e.g. membership renewals, resolution submission deadlines, etc.). In addition, the Board of Directors clearly stated that the CACP must be able to effectively identify emerging policing issues and trends, get ahead of them, and be leading the narrative. To this end, I will be working with the leadership team, CACP committees and with you, as subject matter experts, to produce key messages, position statements and/or guiding principles before an issue reaches the crisis stage. These will be made available to you via a member's only approved site to help facilitate issues management in your respective community. When we must contend with a crisis situation, the CACP must be nimble and be prepared to deal with the unexpected. As a result, a crisis communications escalation and approval process is also being articulated so that we have a clear process in place to develop and implement required crisis communications strategies. NEW CACP COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY: By Natalie Wright, Communications Advisor

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