Public service is not without its field trips and public relations.
While working public affairs for a California state department with an arm of regulation, I organized field tours to illustrate first hand the regulation work in progress at a privately-owned energy field. Though about 3,000 feet above sea level on rocky terrain awash with active heavy machinery, and some 390 miles away from my office, I outlined a flurry of field tours: for media, community members, local elected officials and staff.
The challenges were many:
- Remotely managing plans with three separate participating organizations
- Sticking to a strict time frame for all talking points + tour stops and staying on point when your team and experts are being bounced around a 12-person van in the rain
- Corralling a hordes of press through high-security areas
- Rolling with delays and inclement weather
- Trying to have a good time through it all.
We were successful. The tours opened the otherwise private field to select groups in an open by carefully crafted experience, showcasing our department’s commitment to transparency, safety and communication about the ongoing regulations.