The #HoCoPolice and the #ColumbiaMall Shooting

The shooting incident at the Columbia Mall provided exceptional lessons learned for strategic crisis communications planning and the tactical implementation of those plans. This interview with the Director of Public Affairs of Howard County Police provides an insight of how a very small staff can effectively reach a very large audience by providing timely and useful information.

Following crisis news in real time is nothing new. Orson Welles proved – at least in theory – in 1938, with his hour-long radio adaptation of War of the Worlds, that releasing news incrementally as events unfold is a gripping way to inform the public by creating a narrative. War of the Worlds was fiction, but there are plenty of factual historical instances of people being transfixed by the news.

Many of us remember being glued to CNN for hours on end at the beginning of the first Gulf War. Green screens and footage of smart bombs are the first thing I think of when I remember that time.

I learned about the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing, in Oklahoma, as people…

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About fveltri

Former NATO and military spokesperson, currently Public Affairs consultant and President, ComIPI (
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