When holding a crisis news briefing, the temptation is to start by describing a series of events in sequence from beginning to end. This may seem to make sense, until you realize you might be burying the most important message in your statement.
The Minneapolis police chief may well have had this in mind when he addressed the media shortly after one of his officers was shot. The officer was wounded while pursuing several robbery suspects. Chief Brian O’Hara was prepared to describe in detail the events that led up to the shooting and those that eventually led to the arrest of the suspects. But before getting into the nuts and bolts of the events, O’Hara delivered a message he thought was most important, the courage and dedication police officers demonstrate every day. View the clip below.
O’Hara went on to describe the specific circumstances of the shooting and the eventual arrest of the suspects. Those were important details, but not as crucial to the chief as his primary message of empathy and care for all police officers. Chief O’Hara made the right decision, one we encourage you to emulate if you are asked to face the media during a crisis.