Jul 6, 2016
On October 22, 2014 shots rang out downtown Ottawa, killing Corporal Nathan Cirillo as he stood guard at the National War Memorial. This unthinkable act devastated and sparked fear in citizens’ minds, causing a frenzy of conversations and rumours. Where did the assailant flee and where was he headed? Was there also an active shooter at the Rideau Centre? As these very questions and numerous other claims flooded the Internet, Ottawa Police Service (OPS) had already undertaken a number of crisis communications measures, with public safety as its number one priority.
Anat Cohn, corporate communications specialist at Ottawa Police Service, recently sat down with our producer Ashlea McGrath at MARCOM Professional Development Annual Forum to discuss her experience in crisis communications on that tragic day in 2014, and the vital role social media played in helping OPS communicate with the public at such a crucial moment.