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Josh Rubenstein

Public Information Director
Los Angeles Police Department

After a two-decade career in broadcast journalism, Josh Rubenstein shifted his focus and changed careers to lead the LAPD’s strategic communications and media outreach efforts in new and innovative ways. As the Commanding Officer of the Public Communications Group (PCG), Director Rubenstein oversees the Media Relations Division, which consists of the Digital Media Section (Online Media Unit and Video Unit) and the Media Relations Section (Public Information Officers, Public Relations Unit, and Social Media Team). PCG is made up of a combination of sworn and civilian Department employees, who are responsible for messaging and communicating critical information to the City of Los Angeles and its residents.

Josh Rubenstein’s Session(s):

11:50 am–12:30 pm — Thursday, February 6, 2020

Keynote: Using Digital Tools to Create Emotional Connections

With the continued evolution of all of the various social platforms, we recognize the need for law enforcement as a profession to adapt the way we message from a one-way messaging model to a two-way model with a renewed focus on creating an emotional connection. 

Audiences have developed an expectation of authenticity. Our presentation aims to draw from our experience taking our already well-established social media channels, and reworking the way in which we were communicating through said channels. By focusing messaging on tapping into emotion through personal narrative, short video, or social media posts that have coordinated in partnership with other policy agencies, we found an exponential increase in reach and engagement.  It's not enough to listen, the expectation from today's point will be given by the LAPD's newly formed Strategic Communications Unit.


  • Participants will learn how to craft content that draws an emotional connection from an audience.
  • Participants will learn to think critically about how to engage with the public online, measuring risks and benefits.
  • Participants will be introduced to new and existing social channels.  


Presentations and Q&A based on the knowledge of the LAPD's Strategic Communications Unit will be used to lead this discussion. The presentation will utilize examples of tweets, excerpts from our podcast, and segment four from our critical incident videos. 

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