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John F. Cameron, Department of Criminology, University of Leicester

Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm

Date: Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Venue: KPMG Office, 23rd Floor, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay


Communications expertise is vital for institutions such as the Hong Kong police force – and the force still has more to learn from the latest communications approaches, including social media outreach in particular. These are the conclusions of retired police officer and host of “Police Report” John Cameron, who met IABC members in Hong Kong in May to discuss his personal experience over nine years communicating for the Hong Kong Police, as well as recommendations drawn from his recently completed master’s thesis.

With a 90-member strong department established in 1970, the Hong Kong Police Public Relations Bureau handles more than 800 enquiries per day, and its timely, cooperative media engagement strategy forms the backbone of its outreach. However, any police force encounters unique challenges as the single most important source of crime news, putting enormous pressure on its resources in a changing media environment. Additionally, police spokespeople in Hong Kong such as Officer Cameron are granted an unusual degree of autonomy in choosing and delivering messages to the public.

For the Hong Kong Police Force as well as other police departments, both “big media” and social media platforms provide opportunities for neighborhood watch coordination, real-time information, and community meetings. As a case study, Cameron provided an analysis of a police blog on a Lamma Island community website. Cameron also recommends the further development of reality docudrama police shows as a pathway to public engagement and satisfying the public hunger for crime stories.



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