A Critical Responsibility: For You and the Corps
As an employee, there may come a time when you are presented with an opportunity to tell the Corps story or talk about your work with a reporter. Your success will largely depend on how well you prepare for the interview.
Successful communicators tend to rise to the top in their career or technical field because they are seen as effective communicators who are situationally aware, know their job and are able to work with a variety of people in a variety of settings.
Your ability to work with the media is critical to the success of your project or work, and equally important to the protection of the District's reputation and its perceived value to the customer. We are a federal agency and the public has the right to know what we do and how we do it. The media provides us a pathway to tell our story to the public.
Perception is reality. It is a widely held belief, that if you don't conduct an interview you must be hiding something or you can't be trusted. If, on the other hand, you provide an interview, no matter how bad you think it goes, the public will usually give you the benefit of the doubt; and sometimes even side with you as the underdog. What we are striving for is public understanding, not swaying public opinion.
Studies show that IF the public understands what we are doing, and we are working in their best interest, they will support us.
Look at an interview as an opportunity -- an opportunity to deliver your message about the good things the Corps does, what the Rock Island District is doing, and if necessary, to set the record straight by providing the facts.
In many cases, you may be the only contact the public has with the Corps. Make the most of it. This Web-based training has been provided to improve your skills and your results; not to make you an expert. If we can help you, please contact us.