After working in the media and as an agency communications director for 26 years, Laura McElroy, has dealt with almost every imaginable news story. This experience has allowed her to guide government agencies and large companies to manage high profile, controversial crises. She has helped leaders effectively manage worst case scenarios including racially tense officer involved shootings, political protests, a sex scandal at a public agency, negligent death cases, a murder suicide at a business, the death of a child in protective service care, officers involved in criminal activity and many more. As the Principal Consultant of The McElroy Media Group, Laura addresses every aspect of a crisis from strategizing how best to represent the organization in mainstream and social media, addressing the internal audiences and key stakeholders while minimizing the impact on operations.
As a partner with the U. S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs and CNA’s Institute for Public Research, McElroy works with law enforcement agencies around the country sharing best practices in crisis communication, media relations, social media, and community outreach. After assessing an agency’s current program, McElroy designs and helps implement progressive solutions that ultimately grow their relationships with the media and the citizens they serve. She has trained numerous police, sheriff and corrections commanders as a consultant for the Florida Department of Law enforcement and the Florida Police Chief’s Association.
McElroy has conducted media training for franchise owners across the country and helped local businesses generate news stories about their operations and grow their digital footprint via social media training. With sixteen years of experience working in broadcast news, she has a clear understanding of the media and its daily objectives. As a reporter and anchor, she won local, state and national awards. During her 11 years as the Tampa Police Department’s Communications Director, McElroy helped the agency navigate innumerable crises, all while strengthening its community relationships. By establishing new levels of transparency and accountability, she improved public trust in the department that resulted in extensive positive news coverage and helped mitigate controversial issues. In this role, she developed excellent working relationships with all Tampa media outlets and created new partnerships with activists, community groups and business leaders.
This media veteran led the multi-agency Joint Information Center for the 2012 Republican National Convention, comprised of more than a hundred Public Information Officers. The Center used social media to change the perception of law enforcement during the convention which historically generates negative publicity for agencies. The photographs posted on social media helped set the tone of local and national stories about the event. Four years earlier, McElroy led the Joint Information Center for Super Bowl XLIII. Her six-month media campaign created positive publicity for local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.