Court Community Communication

Public Information

Curriculum Guideline Four

Court leaders must understand public perceptions of courts and be able to assess and respond to the information needs of multiple constituencies.  Effective courts plan, package, and deliver messages in positive and understandable ways by diverse means.  They effectuate a higher level of public understanding of and satisfaction with the judiciary.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of national and state surveys of how the community gets information concerning the judiciary and their perceptions about courts, judges, and the judicial process;

  • Knowledge of the limitations of public information campaigns in correcting every misperception about courts, judges, and the judicial process;

  • Knowledge about how to use technology to inform, educate, and persuade and to keep abreast of changes in technology and the opportunities these changes present for court public information;

  • Ability to identify specific audiences and interest groups who would be the targets of a public information campaign -- community leaders, people from distinct ethnic and income levels, community action and other civic groups, special interest groups, educators, legislators, and city/county officials, among others;

  • Ability to determine information needs of specific groups;

  • Ability to create and deliver proactive, targeted information delivery systems that can sustain and support themselves;

  • Ability to prioritize potential public education/information projects so that the court is not trying to do too much all at once;

  • Skill in overseeing an interactive Web site for the court with accurate current information that tracks cases and provides information about the court, its processes, and innovations;

  • Skill in developing and delivering information that educates the other branches of the government about court functions, needs, and accomplishments;

  • Ability to articulate realistic expectations about court-generated public information and to explain its benefits to judges, court staff, and legislative and executive branch leaders and their staff;

  • Skill in evaluating each program to learn if it is working and worth repeating.

View the Summary of Court Community Communication Curriculum Guidelines or click on each of the six Curriculum Guidelines to see the associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

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