Minutes of a Meeting of the Association of Police Communicators
Meeting: APComm National Meeting (BTP HQ, Camden)
Date: Tuesday 4 July 2017 | 1015 – 1210
Author: Jacqui Hanson, APComm Secretary
Marking: Not Protectively Marked | Except where marked as “Closed” (Section 9 – Media Logging System)
FOI: Disclosable | Except where marked as “Closed”
1) Persons Present
- Liz Aelberry, Northumbria
- Nicola Atter, Norfolk
- David Bailey, Staffordshire (Vice Chair)
- Dan Barton, West Midlands
- Nigel Calvin, CNC
- Nick Cloke, Dorset
- Amanda Coleman, GMP (Chair)
- Sarah Cooper, Cambridgeshire
- Dee Cowburn, West Yorks PCC
- Tanya Croft, Devon and Cornwall
- Tony Diggins, Lincolnshire (Treasurer / Membership Sec)
- Sian George, Dyfed Powys
- Catherine Feast, Police Federation
- Nicola Growcott, NPCC
- Jacqui Hanson, Operation Hydrant (Secretary)
- Lorraine Homer, Superintendents Association
- Rachel Hyde, Hertfordshire
- Claire Ingram, Thames Valley (Vice Chair)
- Julie Jones, Hampshire
- Rhys Jones, Gwent
- Donna Jordan, Nottinghamshire
- Jonathan Leach, Derbyshire
- Catherine Llewellyn, South Wales
- Katie Perkin, Sussex
- Rhian Pope, BTP
- Allison Potter-Drake, BTP
- Connie Primmer, BTP
- Kate Quilley, Warwickshire and West Mercia
- Emma Reynolds, NCA
- Ruth Shulver, Surrey (Vice Chair)
- Rosie Sobieraj, Operation Hydrant
- Chris Starrs, Scotland
- Ed Stearns, MPS (Vice Chair)
- Jenny Walker, NPAS
- Liz Young, PSNI
2) Apologies for Absence
- Rachel Anstee, NABIS
- Kimberley Brierley, Gloucestershire
- Carrie Goodwin, South Yorkshire
- Lynn Marsh, Cheshire
- Martin Sims, NWCU
- Donna Veasey, Essex
- Louise Wood, North Yorkshire
3) Minutes of the Last Meeting
Approved as an accurate record by those present.
Matters Arising / Updates:
APComm Communicators Directory – This was almost complete and a first draft would be circulated to forces to check their entries shortly.
College of Policing – Communications input to courses. The Secretary had contacted the College several times, offering the services of APComm to co-ordinate communications input to any C of P course, and speakers had been found to provide training input to the course set for June which Warwickshire and West Mercia had been approached to support. Despite several emails to the training lead in the College volunteering the support for communications training inputs, the Secretary had failed to receive an acknowledgement of the email or a response.
Protective Marking – Minutes of meetings will be routinely published on the refreshed APComm website going forward. The Secretary proposed that while the majority of items discussed and recorded were not required to be protectively marked, there would on occasions be matters discussed which would be sensitive for a number of reasons. Where this was the case, the Minutes would note this section as “Closed” and details of the “Closed” session would not be published on the website. Members would have the opportunity at the conclusion of each meeting to propose that an item was marked “Closed”, and would again have the option to propose an item was Closed when the written minutes were circulated.
Members agreed to the proposal.
4) Chair’s Update
Members’ Benefits – A Factsheet had been circulated with the papers for the meeting detailing the benefits of membership. Heads of Communications were asked to share this with their teams, and to offer it routinely to newly appointed staff.
June PRCA Meeting – The Chair had been unable to attend the meeting, but undertook to link in with the PRCA, and provide an update at the next meeting. The Chair reminded members of the CPD programme available via the PRCA, which was free of charge. Members pursuing the programme were encouraged to provide feedback to the chair who would in turn feedback to the PRCA.
Public sector communications meeting – The Chair, Secretary, and Vice Chairs Ruth Shulver and Claire Ingram would be attending a meeting on 6 July designed to explore opportunities for communicators in the public sector to work together more effectively. An update on the outcome of the event would be provided via the APComm Bulletin.
Football – The FA were hosting a meeting on 25 July with an invitation to those forces with premier league clubs within their area to attend. The purpose of the meeting is to look at coordinated communications in the event of a contingency at a football stadium. The chair also recognised that there will be forces who host football clubs with a profile, but which may not be premier league who may find it beneficial to attend. Forces who wished to attend were asked to contact the chair – firstname.lastname@example.org
APP – APComm had issued a media release upon publication of the College of Policing APP. It would be circulated with the next Bulletin for the benefit of members who may not yet have read it.
Elections – The opportunity to stand for a post on the executive committee would be opened up in the Autumn, and members were again reminded to consider whether they wished to stand. The Chair and Treasurer / Membership Secretary had both indicated they would be standing down, but all executive posts were up for election. Those wishing to stand were reminded that the consent of their force was required as the role involved attendance at national APComm meetings, and other events representing APComm, and that commitment was also required in the post holder’s own time. If anyone wished to stand for post, they were encouraged to have an informal chat with any member of the executive committee who would be happy to outline the requirements of the role.
Heads of Communication Workshop – This had taken place yesterday, and feedback suggested the event was highly successful with significant learning during the structured daytime session, and some useful informal networking and sharing of practice and experience during the evening social event. The Workshop had required a significant amount of planning and time, and the Chair formally noted her thanks to Ruth Shulver who had designed and delivered the event.
5) Treasurer and Membership Report
The Treasurer’s Report had been circulated with the meeting papers.
A small number of forces were still progressing membership fee payment through their in house financial processes, but for the first time every UK force had pledged membership, and today’s meeting reflected this in terms of attendance.
When renewing membership annually, forces were requested to check with their Finance departments and ensure that payment was generated accurately to the Treasurer’s force – currently Lincolnshire, but this would change in the new membership year in 2018. Some force payments were still passing to Devon and Cornwall who had not held the membership role for many years.
The APComm balance stood at a healthy £18k – it was now up to members to decide how they wished to spend it.
Discussion took place and the following options were proposed:
- Media Law Training – Free session to be provided to members on the morning preceding conference. Consideration as to the requirement for further sessions.
- Resilience and well -being coaching – Free session to be provided to members on the morning preceding conference. Consideration as to the requirement for further sessions.
Advanced social media.
- Content creation for digital platforms – Nick Cloke highlighted options which were available via universities and academics, and undertook to explore these opportunities and report back.
Developing digital strategies.
- Evaluation techniques and tools.
- Sponsoring a member for enhanced professional development, following a selection and suitability process. This was discounted due to the difficulties in selection, the requirement of PRCA and other CPD which requires active involvement in the CPD process by the individual previously, and the fact that the expenditure would benefit one and not all members.
- Creating a paid for position to support the APComm business area and exec workstreams. This generated some considerable debate, and it was agreed to allow members time to reflect on the proposal, and take it to discussion at the AGM in November.
After a lengthy discussion, it was agreed that the Exec would explore professional development opportunities available, and prepare an options paper for members to consult and feedback on.
Action 1: 040717 – Nick Cloke to explore digital learning opportunities available via universities and academia.
Action 2: 040717 – APComm Exec to explore professional development opportunities based on the feedback from members, and prepare an option paper to consult with members regarding professional development priorities.
6) Conference 2017
Ed Stearns provided an overview of the Conference agenda programme which had now been finalised. The programme, costs, and attendance options would be circulated to members in the week commencing 24 July, and also be available via the newly refreshed APComm website.
Members were advised to book early, as last year was fully booked.
Audience engagement and participation would be enhanced this year, and Slido would be utilised for this purpose. The opportunity to participate in Slido feedback for those not present at conference was being explored, alongside options for live streaming.
Case studies were still being sought to illustrate programme content –members were asked to email the Secretary if they wished to put forward a case study from their own or another force – email@example.com
Suggestions for suitable sponsors should be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org
7) Heads of Communications Workshop
Ruth Shulver gave an overview of the Workshop, the themes discussed, attendance, and outcomes. A feedback sheet would follow to all those who attended.
The event had been well received, and Heads of Communications had requested a further event is arranged. A volunteer was sought to undertake the planning for this.
Action 3: 040717 – Volunteer to co-ordinate Heads of Communications workshop to contact Ruth Shulver.
8) APComm Refreshed Website
Claire Ingram reported that the aim was for the refreshed website to go live in the week commencing 24 July, to coincide with the opening of registration for conference.
Content was still requested, including good practice case studies and examples across the breadth of police communications, marketing material that forces were willing to share, upcoming dates and events, recommended service providers – in fact anything which could be shared to benefit members. All content to be forwarded to email@example.com
9) Any Other Business
Extended hours / social media demands – Jonathan Leach raised the issue of a requirement for extended hours for communications teams in view of the 24/7 demand of social media, and the fact that peak target audiences were often most active outside of traditional office hours. Jonathan would draft a paper to outline the impact on force communications teams, and consider options to respond to this demand.
Action 5: 040717 – Jonathan Leach to draft a paper outlining the impact on force communications teams of the demands of social media, and the impact on working hours. Deadline Monday 18 September to allow for consideration prior to the next meeting.
Access to resources and learning – Chris Starr raised a query as to whether there was an online hub which would provide access to communications resources and offer the opportunity for shared learning and the exchange of information. CI advised that the refreshed APComm website would meet this need.
Police Bravery Awards – The Police Federation offered their thanks to forces for supporting the promotion of the 2017 Police Bravery Awards.
10) Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will take place on Tuesday 10 October 2017 at 1015 at Belton Woods Hotel, Grantham, Lincolnshire. The meeting concluded at 1205.
Please forward any comments or questions on these minutes to the Secretary – Jacqui.firstname.lastname@example.org