The Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) is actively bidding for consultancies to help train their officers to better deal with speaking to the press and understanding young people, according to an article published yesterday by local Chinese-language newspaper Ming Pao.
The paper reports that the HKPF has been contacting outlets with an emphasis on getting its junior officers trained up to handle face-to-face interactions with journalists, especially during what it refers to as “ambush interviews” and short-notice press conferences. These will consist of one to two days of workshops for each officer.
The article also states that the department wants to get its senior officers (who have over 15 years experience) trained up to have a better understanding of differences between the behaviours of different generations, particularly Generation Y. This training will focus on how to improve the loyalty of Gen Y staff, on resolving workspace conflicts with them and gaining insights on the variations in generational lifestyles.
Ming Pao says that the department has acknowledged sending out quotations to consultancies but implied that it was part of a longer-term strategy, rather than a recent reactionary development.
Currently, the HKPF is facing a local - and some would argue a global - brand crisis, with footage of its officers’ behaviour during recent protests drawing close to universal condemnation from press, politicians, and pundits worldwide. Special attention has also been drawn to the extremely poor skills officers have demonstrated in dealing with journalists, both in the field and at press conferences.
Whether or not this call for assistance is actually a reaction to Hong Kong’s ongoing extradition bill protests or a plan that was already in motion, it isn’t a stretch to say such training seems very necessary. The only question is what consultants would risk the blowback of taking on such a polarising client at this moment in time?
If you have received any information from the HKPF regarding a bid for PR training, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If necessary, you may also do so confidentially via our Tip Off section.