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Amanda Coleman speaks to first year journalism students at MMU

Manchester Arena attack: how we handled the massive media attention, by Greater Manchester Police's head of communications

Amanda Coleman, GMP's head of communications speaks to MMU's first-year multimedia journalism students

Amanda Coleman of Greater Manchester Police visited Multimedia Journalism students at the university this week.

Amanda, who is Head of Communications for the organisation, gave a presentation to the first year students, sharing with them the wisdom of her 20 years in the field. Starting out as a typewriter journalist, she said her work now focuses on crisis communications at one of the largest police forces in the UK. 

Speaking to the students, she addressed everything from an overview of GMP, to highlighting the similarities of her job to that of a journalist.

She dedicated part of her presentation to the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing, and how social media proved to be both advantageous and problematic to the situation. While online platforms were instrumental in spreading updates to the masses, it also quickly became a breeding ground for fake news.

As the crisis unfolded in the media, she felt there was a danger of the victims not being acknowledged. Amanda's department focused on those affected. She said: “Focus on other people always, never focus on reputation. Reputation is built on doing the right thing.”

The talk proved very educational for the MMU students and created some discussion.

Student Alice Stevens, 20 said: "It was interesting to learn how they approach serious and high-profile cases while facing the challenges that come from social media.”

This was a thought echoed by student Asher Nutting, 20, who said: “It was a fascinating insight into the GMP. It’s certainly provided me with a keen sense of intrigue when it comes to press roles in a high pressure, sometimes difficult environment.”

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