The Social Media Beat

The Social Media Beat

Monday, December 27, 2010

Dealing with Inappropriate and Negative Comments - Part 2

By Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is a member of the Richmond Police Department's Public Affairs Unit in Richmond, Virginia. Follow Dionne on Twitter @RichmondPolice.

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The law is still catching up with the Internet so it's obviously still far behind trying to comprehend and figure out social media. That being said, having an official social media policy, like a police agency does for anything else, like use of force, is essential. No matter when the law catches up, you will need a policy in place that helps you navigate the world of inappropriate comments and protects you if you're challenged. Here's how we handle inappropriate comments: First, we take a screen capture (or picture) of the comments. Then we save and date that image for our records and delete the inappropriate comments. Third, and most importantly, we respond to let people know what we did and why we deleted their comments. If you don't do that, you risk alienating people. You don't have to go into specifics, but just mention your policy, which, hopefully, people can publicly access somewhere on your page or Web site. Tell members you're glad they want to interact and that you appreciate their commen ...

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

How Do I Use These Platforms?

By Mark Economou

Mark Economou

Mark is the Public Information Officer for the Boca Raton Police Department in Boca Raton, Florida. Follow Mark on Twitter @BocaPolice.

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Once it is determined an agency is ready to jump into social media, or the dark side as many refer to it, you need to figure what you want your agency to get out of it. There are many facets of social media like blogging, video sharing, forums, and more. Let's break them down. Blogging- This is an easy way to write about certain topics. It's an opportunity to tell the other side of the story, and explain why certain things were done certain ways. A lot of times we use blogging to expand on stories we think needed more attention but were not covered by the media. A blog page is similar to a newspaper's editorial page. You, the author, can write about a topic or give an opinion, a journal of sorts. Video Sharing- This is a great way to get video out to the public. Here in Florida we have very lenient public records laws, and a lot is considered public information including security video, surveillance, and, in certain instances, dash cam video. At the Boca Raton Police Department we share as much video as ...

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dealing with Inappropriate and Negative Comments - Part 1

By Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is a member of the Richmond Police Department's Public Affairs Unit in Richmond, Virginia. Follow Dionne on Twitter @RichmondPolice.

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If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. You've heard the saying, but that's not always the case, especially online, where people sometimes feel they can say whatever they want with impunity because it's online and they can be anonymous. When you put yourself out there on social media, an unfortunate side effect is creating another place for people to complain about your agency. But it's also where you can turn a potential negative into a positive. Here's how: First, you have to resist the urge to respond to each and every comment. I know you love your agency and people don't always understand the hows and whys and importance of everything you do. But you can't always explain what you do publicly or in a short reply. More so, you may not even be authorized to correct misinformation or publicly comment because it could hurt a case. So, as hard as it is, try to resist the urge to respond to every inappropriate comment. Second, understand that people use social media in different wa ...

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Social Network Policies - Worth Having - Worth Training

By Lynn Hightower

Lynn Hightower

Lynn is the Communications Director and Public Information Officer for the Boise, Idaho, Police Department. Follow Lynn on Twitter @BoisePD.

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In March, 2010, the Boise Police Department (BPD) adopted Special Order 10-05; Policy 11.06.00 Social Networking: Personal Online/Internet Content; a social networking (SN) policy for BPD employees. Policy 11.06.00 is meant to be proactive and educational, meaning the purpose of the policy is to advise employees on the department's expectations of employees personal SN use. The policy starts with a reminder that as members of the department, employees personal and professional conduct must meet a high standard, which these days includes conduct related to postings on the Internet. If you'd like a copy of the policy (recent workshops on these policies at the IACP general conference in Orlando were standing room only!), e-mail me and I'll be happy to send it to you. As policies go, Special Order 10-05 was sent out via e-mail to all BPD employees with a batch of several other new or revised department policies. However, unlike the other Special Orders, the content of Special Order 10-05; Policy 11. ...

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Keeping Up with the Latest Trends

By Mark Economou

Mark Economou

Mark is the Public Information Officer for the Boca Raton Police Department in Boca Raton, Florida. Follow Mark on Twitter @BocaPolice.

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In the ever changing world of Web 2.0, it seems new social media platforms are invented daily. Some work, some don't, but many are worth a second look, at least to assess and determine whether they would work in what we do. One of the latest platforms is QR codes, or Quick Response code. Simply, a QR Code is a pattern of black and white matrix like squares, readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smart phones. The information encoded can be text, a URL or other data. While new to the social media world, QR codes have been around since 1994, invented by a Toyota subsidiary and used initially to track parts in vehicle manufacturing. Now QR Codes are aimed at mobile and smart phone users to deliver a message, promote a product, or offer a discount. Recently retailers like Target have embedded QR Codes in their holiday advertising, bringing users to more information about their product. Here at the Boca Raton Police Services Department we decided to try out this new technology during th ...

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Monday, December 06, 2010

Connecting with Candidates through Video

By Tracy Phillips

Tracy Phillips

Tracy, an IACP Senior Project Specialist, is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of IACP's recruitment initiative, Discover Policing.

Want to hear more from Tracy Phillips? Follow her and the Discover Policing team on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Inside Discover Policing blog.

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It's hard to argue with the power of video. Since its inception decades ago, video has changed the way we access news and information. In the digital age of the 21st century, where nearly everyone has access to a video camera, the power and influence of this medium has increased exponentially. Many departments recognize the value of using video to aid hiring efforts and community relations. Larger departments have units dedicated to video production that regularly crank out videos on a wide variety of topics, from recruitment to crime prevention. All of this is perfect for YouTube. With millions of visitors daily, YouTube is another free platform that's available to help police communicate with the public - and reach out to prospective applicants. While posting your recruitment video to your Web site and taking the DVD around to recruitment events are great, adding it to YouTube increases your potential for exposure. Police recruitment videos on YouTube easily fetch thousands even tens of thousands o ...

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Friday, December 03, 2010

Consistency of Messaging - Having a Single Social Media Voice

By Lynn Hightower

Lynn Hightower

Lynn is the Communications Director and Public Information Officer for the Boise, Idaho, Police Department. Follow Lynn on Twitter @BoisePD.

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Should different precincts or specialty units within the same agency have separate Facebook pages??? Here in Boise, we don't have the separate precincts, but we do have specialized units like crime prevention, school resource officers, traffic, etc. So I have carefully considered this question and have discussed and researched the potential value of separate, more specialized social network pages that represent the same agency. Understand that in the purest sense of social networking, each precinct would indeed have its own focus. A real purist might argue each officer should have his or her own outreach. However, taking the specialized focus and unique needs and interests of law enforcement into account, I disagree with the purists. Decentralization of public communication - through social networking or not - is not a wise approach. A decentralized command structure is workable and may be preferable for many police services, but dissemination of public information is not one of them. Here's why. ...

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About This Blog

So you have found, or perhaps stumbled upon, The Social Media Beat, the blog for the IACP Center for Social Media Web site. The Social Media Beat is about three things: social media, law enforcement, and perspective. Here you will find a fresh outlook on the issues that are affecting law enforcement agencies and their personnel when it comes to social media.

Social media is taking the world by storm. Social networks, blogs, photo and video sharing sites, and virtual communities are changing the way people live, work, and play. These tools present unique opportunities as well as challenges to the law enforcement community.  The Social Media Beat brings together a team of bloggers who will speak directly to you about hot topics and current issues.

Bloggers include IACP staff and practitioners in the field who can provide a unique front-line perspective. Our team cares about social media and wants to ensure that law enforcement across the country are knowledgeable and well-equipped to incorporate this technology.

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About the Authors

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is the social media guru for the Richmond Police Department. As a member of the Department's Public Affairs Unit since September 2008, she created and developed the agency's successful use of social media and continues to try and find new ways to improve the way Richmond Police communicate online. She has spoken about law enforcement and social media at more than a dozen conferences across the country in addition to the past four IACP annual conferences. Waugh is a former newspaper reporter who wrote about crime, police, and the court system for six years. That experience and an ingrained curiosity for what makes people tick has fueled her desire to improve communication between people. Follow Dionne on Twitter @RichmondPolice.

IACP Center for Social Media

IACP's Center for Social Media serves as a clearinghouse of information and no-cost resources to help law enforcement personnel to develop or enhance their agency's use of social media and integrate Web 2.0 tools into agency operations. The Center is funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

Tracy Phillips

Tracy is a Senior Project Specialist with the IACP. She is responsible for managing the day-to-day operation of the DiscoverPolicing.org Web site and coordinating the site's social networking plan. In addition, Ms. Phillips provides writing, editorial, and technical assistance on a variety of association projects and activities, including police management studies, job analyses, executives searches, federal grants, and various research projects and proposals. She has more than 10 years of experience in state and local government, including work as a management analyst, performance auditor, and crime analyst. Ms. Phillips holds a master's degree in public administration from the University of Georgia and a bachelor's from Clemson University.

Want to hear more from Tracy Phillips? Follow her and the Discover Policing team on TwitterFacebook, and on the Inside Discover Policing blog. You can also network with other police recruitment professionals in the Law Enforcement Recruitment LinkedIn group.

Dave Norris

Sergeant Dave Norris is a 21 year veteran of the City of San Mateo Police Department. He has worked in a number of positions including Juvenile Detective, Field Training Officer, Narcotics Detective, and Patrol Supervisor. Dave is currently assigned to Community and Media Relations and oversees day-to-day functions that involve the relationship between the police, the community, and the media. Dave is dedicated to the increase of community engagement through the use of social media. Under his management, San Mateo PD's direct subscribers to community alerts and public safety messaging has grown from several hundred to over 22,000.

Chris Hsiung

Captain Chris Hsiung commands the Field Operations Division at the Mountain View Police Department in California. Through the department Community Action and Information Unit (CAIU), he manages strategy, community engagement, and growth through the police department social media channels. Chris has been serving the Mountain View community for over 19 years and has held a variety of assignments within MVPD. These include detective assignments in Property Crimes, Person Crimes, and High Tech Crimes as well as collateral assignments on SWAT and the Field Evidence Team. He also serves on the planning committee for the Bay Area Law Enforcement Social Media Group (BALESMG). You can follow him on Twitter @chMtnViewPD.

Lynn Hightower

Lynn is the Communications Director and Public Information Officer for the Boise Police Department and has served in that role since October, 2003. Lynn also serves at the PIO for the Boise Fire Department. Lynn authors and manages the social media outreach for Boise Police and often acts as media spokesperson. She advises officers from patrol to command staff on media and public communications skills. Lynn joined the Boise Police Department after 17 years as a television reporter, producer, anchor, and news director. Lynn regularly instructs new officers at the Boise Police Academy and has given media and public communications presentations to dozens of federal, state, and local emergency responder agencies. Follow Lynn and Boise Police on Twitter @BoisePD.

Billy Grogan

Billy Grogan is the Chief of Police for the Dunwoody Police Department in Georgia. Chief Grogan was hired on December 17, 2008, after serving 28 years with the Marietta, Georgia, Police Department, to start a brand new department. On April 1, 2009, the Dunwoody Police Department began operations with 40 sworn officers and eight civilians providing police services to the 47,000+ residents of the City of Dunwoody. Chief Grogan embraced the use of social media from day one of operations. The Dunwoody Police Department began using Twitter the first day and has added Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Vine to their arsenal since then as effective tools to market their department and engage their community. Chief Grogan has written about the benefits of law enforcements use of social media, participated in several social media focus groups and lectured at the IACP, Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police Conference, COPS Conference, and many other venues. Follow Chief Grogan on Twitter @ChiefGrogan and the Dunwoody Police Department @DunwoodyPolice.

Mark Economou

Mark Economou is the Public Information Officer for the Boca Raton Police Department in Boca Raton, Florida. His media and public relations background spans nearly 20 years. Spending nearly 15 years in radio and television news, Economou held many positions from assignment editor, reporter, anchor, and executive editor. After that, he served as the Director of Media Relations for Cote & D'Ambrosio, a Public Relations, Marketing and Advertising firm in Wickford, RI. He then served as head of Media Relations for Citizens Bank of Rhode Island, the 9th largest bank in the United States. Follow Mark on Twitter @BocaPolice.

Frank Domizio

Corporal Frank Domizio has been with the Philadelphia Police Department since 1997. He is currently assigned to the FBI’s Regional Computer Forensics Lab as a Forensic Examiner. Previously he was assigned to the Department's Office of Media Relations and Public Affairs where he was the Social and Digital Media Manager. Frank has spoke at several industry conferences and major universities on the topics of social media and content strategy.

Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows is a Sergeant with the Toronto Police - Traffic Services Unit. His primary role is the supervisor for strategic communications and media relations related to traffic issues within the geographical boundaries of Toronto. Tim was appointed to the Traffic Services Communications Office in 2008 with the mandate to raise the profile of traffic issues within the mindset of the general public. In an effort to enhance traffic safety and to control the timing and full scope of messaging, he has developed a targeted information stream using social media to expand the Toronto Police Service span of influence within the Toronto community and beyond with the goal of reducing collisions, injury, and death in Toronto. Using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Blogs, Tim has pushed information about traffic safety to the citizens of Toronto and has opened the lines of communication to allow for collaborative efforts with community groups, road users, and individuals.

Guest Blogger

The Social Media Beat periodically features guest bloggers who share their perspective on the topic of social media and law enforcement. These individuals are law enforcement professionals; sworn and civilian personnel from agencies of all types and sizes throughout the world. If you are interested in guest blogging, please send your request to socialmedia@theiacp.org. All bloggers must be affiliated with a law enforcement agency or educational institution. We cannot accept blog entries from vendors or others working in a for-profit capacity.

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