Criminal Minds’ community liaison

Task: Analyze the portrayal of a public relations practitioner from a current movie or television series. (Consider the different public relations models.)

Jennifer Jareau, also known as J.J., from Criminal Minds is the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit’s community liaison. The BAU’s liaison, J.J. serves as the go-between for the BAU and the media, as well as other police agencies.

On any given episode, J.J.’s role is to read over files from various police departments across the nation, decide which is most critical, set up a presentation and present it to the team. Once they have arrived at their destination, J.J. then takes on the role of gathering all of the information from the deputies and detectives and then presents it to the team. She also sets up press conferences where she typically provides a profile of the suspect and any other information the public needs to know. She gives the information in an objective, calm manner so the public won’t be as alarmed.

Out of the four public relations models, J.J.’s role fits best into the Public Information model. According to our book, this model is described as “one-way distribution of information, not necessarily with a persuasive intent, is the purpose of the public information model, which is based on the journalistic ideal of accuracy and completeness.” (Think 74)  In some ways, J.J.’s role in the BAU could fall under the Press Agentry/Publicity model because she is the public “face” for the BAU and is the main one that speaks to the public.


Think Public Relations textbook page 74


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