The Social Media Beat

The Social Media Beat

Friday, April 29, 2011

If “Safety is a conversation,” let’s start talking

By IACP Center for Social Media

IACP Center for Social Media

IACP's Center for Social Media is a clearinghouse of information and no-cost resources to help law enforcement use social media.

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At a recent a community event in northern Virginia, two representatives from Facebook presented and were available to answer questions. One interesting quote from the meeting was, "Safety is a conversation." Facebook has rolled out numerous changes to its reporting system and privacy options over the past several months, and even in recent weeks. As always, law enforcement officials should be aware of the changes taking place. Here are a few resources to keep you in the loop. Privacy, Security, and Sharing, Oh My! Knowing how to set your privacy settings is incredibly important to help ensure agency integrity and officer safety. Facebook's privacy settings are quite complex and there are many guides out there on Facebook privacy settings. Well, why not get it straight from the source. On the Controlling How You Share page, Facebook has created a guide that shows users where to find certain settings and what those settings mean. At the bottom of the page are even more in depth resources for learning abou ...

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Use Social Media to Add the Visibility to Your High Visibility Enforcement

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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At Boise PD, we just completed an aggressive driving mobilization. Perhaps your agency did too. NHTSA calls these campaigns "high visibility enforcement," and at BPD, we took full advantage of our social network presence to put more "visibility" into our enforcement! April 7th, we announced BPD's involvement with the campaign with the tools we always use; a news release and a feature on our Web site. We also posted news of the extra patrols on Facebook and two to three times a day on Twitter. We went so far as to give locations of the patrols. We received a number of "likes" and supportive comments on Facebook. And a number of Twitter retweets and mentions looked like these: - Whoa. @BoisePD wasn't kidding about that aggressive driving campaign! watch your speed tweeps! - Thankfully I was going the speed limit. Passed 3 @BoisePD officers writing citations on my way home. - lots of @BoisePD officers out on motorcycles patrolling the freeway. saw 4 & 3 of them had someone pulled over. watch y ...

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Social Media: Is it Working?

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 marketing and retail world, companies are always looking for a ROI, return on investment. The push to tell if social media is giving companies a return on investments is a hot topic. While the exact science of how to measure this is still being developed many platforms have been introduced to begin testing the waters of whether social media is working. When working for a marketing, advertising and public relations firm, the PR guys always argued with the ad guys, which is better PR or advertising. In public or media relations, we always said the client was getting earned media, when translated means free advertising. Where the advertising people would have to pay to get their clients message in print or broadcasting. The PR folks always thought it was harder and more gratifying to get earned media by pushing a message. Fast forward to 2011 and the presence of social media. Companies are now turning to Facebook and Twitter to test new products, offer discounts and even poll their customers. Advert ...

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Build Community Relations with Your Facebook Page

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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Facebook recently launched a "Use Facebook as Page" feature that allows page administrators to assume the identity of their page when interacting with Facebook. This allows you to Like, post, and comment throughout the site as your page. Prior to this change, only users could post and comment on the walls of other pages. Judicious use of this feature can help you establish relationships and build rapport with community groups and organizations on a whole new level. Consider the following hypothetical scenarios: • Your crime prevention officer just finished a presentation to the local apartment managers association, which also happens to have a Facebook page. You "like" the apartment managers' association page, and post a comment thanking them for the invitation to speak and providing a link back to crime prevention tips on your agency's site. • You're about to embark on a recruitment and hiring drive. The local university has a solid criminal justice program and an active Facebook page. You ...

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Creating a Social Media Schedule

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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How much more work is this going to be? That's probably what most people think when they're tasked with creating or running their agency's social media platforms. The answer is really up to you. The more effort you put into your social media sites the more effort will be required of you to keep up with it, such as monitoring comments, answering questions, and creating new content for your audience. We at Richmond Police started by posting items we already created. Our daily Good News is a blurb we post every weekday morning. It's usually only a few sentences long and it's about a good arrest or a safety tip. The timing is not especially important as long as it's posted in the morning hours during the week. This way, people can count on us to post something daily that's both informative and positive. Beyond that, we post many of our press releases on Facebook so our fans know that if they "like" us on Facebook, they too will also receive that information about what's going on in their community. And t ...

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Friday, April 08, 2011

Losing the Social Drive

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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When anything new comes along and it is popular, everyone wants to try it. For example, a new electronic item or that gadget your saw on a late night infomercial. But with anything new, once the novelty wears off, it's often forgotten. This can easily happen with social media. Two years ago it was the talk of the town, local and national media jumped on the bandwagon as did retailers, celebrities, and even police departments. Every time you saw a Facebook or Twitter logo you had to check it out. Now it's so common place you might not notice the logos anymore. It's also easy to forget to keep your presence current in the social media setting. When you first started, updating Facebook with information about the latest crime or arrest was the first thing you did. Now as time moves on, getting busy with daily work might make you forget to check in for a day or two. It's important to keep checking in throughout the day as part of the routine, just like anything else you do. It doesn't have to be for hours on ...

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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

How to Increase Your Twitter Followers: A Simple Plan

By Billy Grogan

Billy Grogan

Billy Grogan is the Chief of Police for the Dunwoody Police Department in Georgia. Follow Chief Grogan on Twitter @ChiefGrogan.

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You have taken the plunge. You or your department has begun using Twitter. Now what? Of course you can tweet messages all day long but if no one is following you, what benefit is there for you or your community? Here are a few simple ideas to help you grow your followers. Advertise your Twitter account everywhere. This is a simple suggestion but an effective one. Your Twitter URL should be featured prominently on the departmental Web site. It should also be listed in the signature block for all employee e-mails as well as featured in all department publications such as annual reports, crime prevention brochures, and other similar materials. In addition, it should be mentioned by staff in any public presentations. Follow others. This is a crucial component to adding followers. First, look up all of the media outlets and personalities in your community and follow them. They will all be interested in what you have to post. Second, follow all of the organizations and businesses in your community. This can i ...

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Monday, April 04, 2011

Content Idea - Tip of the Day

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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Keeping with ideas to help keep your Facebook and Twitter feeds updated, think about sharing the info your community looks to you as experts in - crime prevention and traffic safety. Content Idea #4 - Update your site regularly with a crime or traffic safety tip. Be consistent with the title but update the content. People will come to count on that useful information! On the Boise PD Facebook page, we stared something a few months ago that's proven very popular as well as useful: Today's Traffic Tip. First, a post on the page asked followers if they liked the idea. We had an overwhelmingly positive response. Almost everyone who responded also gave ideas on traffic issues they had questions about, which gave a great starting point. Since then, at least two to three times a week, we post Today's Traffic Tip on Facebook and Twitter. The tips get "likes", get re-tweeted, and may generate a question or two which we answer or further clarify. We now have citizens tweeting in suggestions for traffic ti ...

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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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