The Social Media Beat

The Social Media Beat

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Effective Use of Hashtags

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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Think of hashtags as like the “Google” of Twitter. They’re just a new name for the same meaning of “keyword.” Where Google is the way we search the Internet, hashtags are the way of searching the Twitterverse, or Twitter Universe. Hashtags are very helpful way to use Twitter and actually make it a little easier to keep up with the bombardment of instant information. Here are some examples of what a hashtag looks like: #MainStreetAccident, #richmondpolice, #rva, #NBA, or even #JustinBieber It’s just the pound sign plus a key word or two all strung together. Whether you use capital letters to separate the words doesn’t really matter as long as you mush the words together. Using hashtags is a great way to keep track of certain topics on Twitter. For example, you should probably keep up with what people are saying about your agency as much as you can. That’s why I created a #richmondpolice hashtag that I saved as a column in my HootSuite Twitter f ...

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Monday, November 21, 2011

It's Never too Late to Launch

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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So, you have a Facebook page, or a Twitter account, or YouTube channel, or some other social media spot for your agency. But it isn’t gaining much traffic. You may have started slow but have built up a solid strategy. Maybe you didn’t promote your new presence. Perhaps you weren’t sure where this all was going to lead but now you have some great ideas and goals. What we have here is a failure to launch. But never fear! It is never too late to launch, or more accurately, to re-launch. One approach is to schedule your re-launch to coincide with an event. This strategy has proven very successful to numerous agencies including the Virginia State Police. This could be the anniversary of an unsolved case, a large community event, or anything else noteworthy for your agency. Perhaps you are getting a new model of cruiser. Creating a press release on the new look of your vehicles could tie in great with some information about your social media presence. Or maybe you have a holiday parade in y ...

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Use Social Media to Promote Holiday Shopping Safety

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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It’s that time of the year again. Frantic shoppers, people too preoccupied to notice what’s going on around them, packages and purchases left in backseats of cars. Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. For police departments it’s a time to spread crime prevention messages to the public as they head out to shop for those holiday gifts. Here in Boca Raton we put messages out in various ways every year, but after a while you start to wonder if you are just sounding like Charlie Brown’s teachers. So the past couple of years we have tried some different approaches to alerting shoppers to remain vigilant. Some work better than others. A couple of years ago we created small window clings for stores to display that included the tag “Watch your bag Boca!” This was designed to be a constant reminder to shoppers to be alert and keep your bags with you at all times. If you go to the food court don’t put your bags down at a table and then go buy your lunch. If ...

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Monday, November 14, 2011

My 2011 IACP Conference Experience

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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From my viewpoint, the 2011 IACP Conference in Chicago was a success. The weather was beautiful, the educational classes were broad and extensive, and I had the opportunity to network with many chiefs across the country. I was fortunate to be a panelist on two separate programs at the conference this year. The first panel was titled "Meet the Bloggers" and featured all of us who blog regularly on the IACP Social Media site. This panel had a great deal of audience interaction with questions and was well attended. The second panel was titled "Implementing and Integrating Social Media into Agency Operations" and featured Chief Perkins of the Roanoke Police Department and myself. Our presentations centered on how we use social media at our own departments. Chief Perkins' presentation was very informative and educational. If you want to see what a successful police department Facebook page looks like, check out the Roanoke Police Department Facebook page. One of the most fascinating presentations I attended wa ...

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Mobile Recruitment for Police - Part 3

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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I really had no intention of writing three consecutive posts on the value of mobile for law enforcement, but the topic just keeps popping up. Or maybe it’s all just more relevant to me now that I too have joined the ranks of smartphone owners and have since become somewhat obsessed with (fascinated by) the idea of being ALWAYS connected to EVERYTHING. But I digress … As further proof that mobile is more than a trend, Google recently announced its “GoMo” initiative – short for Go Mobile, an effort to help organizations establish a mobile presence. The initiative’s Web site, www.howtogomo.com, provides a wealth of resources to ease agencies into the mobile environment, including: 1. Information on what mobile sites are and why they’re important 2. A “GoMoMeter” allowing you to see how your site looks on a smartphone, with recommendations on what to improve 3. Tips on getting started, including DIY resources and a list of vendors who can help. So ...

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Monday, November 07, 2011

IACP 2011 Conference Review

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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One of the great things about an event such as the 2011 IACP conference in Chicago is that it brings together a variety of people who have had such different experiences to share their knowledge. I feel incredibly fortunate that I could attend and learn so much from such talented individuals. Social media was obviously a key focus in the Public Information Officer track, but I'm sure it touched every other track as well because its reach can be felt in almost every aspect of policing, from public relations to criminal investigations. That was most obvious to me was the Social Media Learning Lab the IACP held early Tuesday morning. Even after a very popular Host Chief's Night at the Museum of Science and Industry, it was standing room only in the lab for some hands-on social media experience. It was very heartening to see so many police agencies taking social media seriously; wanting to get started; and especially making sure they are doing it the right. Even though there is really no "right" way to use soc ...

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Friday, November 04, 2011

IACP 2011 PIO Track Review

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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This is the second year the IACP annual conference included social media in the PIO Track. Last year in Orlando the response to the couple of social media presentations was overwhelming with standing room only at a couple of classes. One would anticipate that attendance would thin for the social media classes this year. But it didn’t, it was as strong as ever with great interaction and questions. Just a few thoughts on the sessions I attended and presented at. We started off Monday morning with “Meet the Bloggers”. A chance to chat with us who blog here on this site. At first I wondered why would anyone want to meet with us, it’s not like we are meeting a literary author with a book on the NY Times best seller list. Plus it was at 8:00 a.m., I wouldn’t get up to meet me at 8:00 a.m.! But the room was packed and everyone listened to our thoughts and asked lots of questions. Topics ranged from general social media questions to more specific questions on how we’d address ce ...

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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.

Leon Robertson

Officer Leon Robertson is the Social Media Coordinator for the Hampton Police Division. Robertson has developed internationally recognized public safety messages, including the Jingle Bells “Holiday Safety Remix” in December 2013. He has extensive experience in graphic design, video & audio production, and managing various social media platforms. You can follow Officer Robertson’s efforts with the Hampton Police Division on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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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