It’s called the most important meal of the day, but breakfast is often overlooked by people moving too fast – late to work, late getting kids on the bus or one too many smacks of the snooze button. Recently, the Fairfax County Police Department’s Media Relations Bureau did something for the first time and it earned rave reviews from the dozens of members of the media who attended, as well as the Department’s command staff. We held a media breakfast. The bill was $450 for 60 people with food from Chick-fil-A and Starbucks coffee. But, you don’t need to go those lengths. What matters is getting both groups together, although the caffeine and carbs never hurt. I requested that all commanders come to the table with story ideas to share. The ideas could become a news story that day or in the future. Some possible ideas: trends in various police districts, an innovative crime-fighting strategy by a visually exciting unit such as Air Service, Marine Patrol, Mounted Patrol, and nearly any story about your K9 Squad will likely generate news coverage.

Make sure you promote the breakfast on your social media platforms so the media AND the community know you’re reaching out. Good old-fashioned phone calls will be required as newsrooms don’t always get around to replying. But they do wind up devoting valuable reporter, photographer and assignment desk resources to your event. It helps them as it allows them unusual access to a wide array of Media Relations Bureau members, Commanders, Deputy Chiefs as well as the Chief. It’s valuable relationship-building time that’s so hard to come by on both sides.
-Julie Parker

Julie Parker

President and CEO at Julie Parker Communications
Julie is a former reporter in Washington, DC at ABC7 News and became the Media Relations Bureau Director for the Prince George's County (MD) Police Department in 2011. In 2016, she took the same position with the Fairfax County (VA) Police Department. Additionally, she is the President and CEO of Julie Parker Communications, a media relations and crisis communications consultancy. Julie can be reached via

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