How many of you have dealt with reporters? How many of you have had negative experiences?

Coming from the FBI, just a little bit of background. I have 8.5 years of experience with public affairs. I did it for the police department, and now I am with the FBI. It's the whole concept of overestimating what you can do with your capabilities and they underestimate our ethics. That's the common theme with any organization, it's perception versus reality. How do you bridge that gap and get people to realize what your organization is really about?

The other issue that I other saw in this last session which was critical was the perception of public safety. These are things that I deal with on a daily basis. Everyone has their own crafted multimedia concept of what the FBI does. But what's the reality behind it? And generally speaking, the FBI public affairs group does some different things. Relationship building with reporters, like hey, I'm going to meet with a reporter and show them and educate them on what they do. Like when something happens, like accidental release, that's a crisis moment.

There's two things that I want you to think of when you're crafting communications. If you have your own lab, you should hae a communications plan where you have daily messages you want to convey. You should also prepare messages in the event that something bad happens. Let me show you how I deal with worst case scenario, like accidental release of biological material.

You have to actually talk about how you are controlling the situation and containing whatever actually occurred. The other thing, as a lab, is transparency with law enforcement. It's showing that you are workign with law enforcement, it helps the public know what you are doing but it protects your lab in terms of hey, this is what we're trying to do with law enforcement if there is a critical incident. I really want to know your questions and see what situations you have dealt with in the past.

You should really think perception versus reality. Crisis communications is really important, you have to prepare for that. I am looking forward to your questions.