The Social Media Beat

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The Social Media Beat

Friday, June 28, 2013

Tweeting the Big Event: Keep a Presence During Big Event So When It Hits the Fan…

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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It’s summer, the weather is warming and it’s the season when parks and venues become crowded with large public events. In his June 6 blog post, Sgt. Dave Norris from San Mateo had great advice and ideas from a recent large event in his community. Many of us are also preparing for summertime events that will attract large crowds in hot temperatures and sometimes involve alcohol. As Sgt. Norris’s example showed very well, planning ahead is key. •    Prepare predictable tweets/posts ahead of time for use during event. The location of water, first aid, lost child stations, road closures, and taxi areas are examples. •    Prepare tweets for various outcomes. If all goes well, thank people for attending and using public transportation. If a fight breaks out, traffic is worse than expected, an accident causes injury, etc., plan ahead as to what your message will be so you can communicate quickly. •    People will want to help ...

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Seven Things I Learned from Brimfield PD's Facebook Page and You Can Too

By Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is the Digital Communications Manager for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in Colorado. Follow Dionne on Twitter @JeffCoSheriffCo.

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By now, a lot of you may have heard of the wildly successful Facebook page of a relatively small Ohio town’s police department. The Brimfield Police Department’s Facebook page has made national news this past week and gained thousands of new fans in the span of hours because of the unique way their chief has used the social media platform to interact with his community. It’s really quite a feat if you think about this barely 10,000-plus community having nearly five times that amount of Facebook fans. And they’re rapidly approaching Boston and New York for top U.S. police department with the most Facebook fans. I’m proud to say that I was an early fan of the page thanks to my colleague Mark Economou, and I write about it here today to give you seven examples of things I have learned from their unorthodox, yet great, Facebook page. If something is important you can make time for it. That’s exactly what Chief David Oliver has done. The majority of the p ...

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Overcoming and Avoiding Internal Crisis Communication Events

By Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows is a recently retired sergeant with 25 years of law enforcement experience.

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Most often when we think of crisis communications we immediately consider the impact of third party external factors that contribute to the crisis.  Those are the events or situations that develop beyond our control that, in turn, require swift and accurate information responses to stem the tide of pressure that bears down on you. But, do we ever consider the trigger for a crisis communications issue to be generated from within our organizations? Looking at the current events that are happening in the news right now, like PRISM, the trigger was an internal member.  Now, yes, that is an extreme example, but just think for a minute how simple and often information can be delivered in the wrong context or with the wrong tone that causes the crisis. Organizations that have multiple voices in the social space need to recognize that an error can occur at any time, on any given subject that causes unwanted negative attention to be cast on your organization. In the extreme, it can be a well-inte ...

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Monday, June 17, 2013

In Case You Missed It…

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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One of the challenges of working in the social media realm is that it is constantly evolving – new platforms become popular, new functions are added, and new terms are coined. In the last few weeks, there have been several big changes to the most popular social media platforms. In case you missed them: Twitter Login Verification On May 22nd, Twitter announced they have launched a two-factor authentication process to enhance account security and prevent unauthorized access. If enabled, you will need to enter a verification code that is sent to your phone via SMS to sign into your account. The code can only be sent to one cell phone so this may not be an ideal option for agencies that need to give access to multiple users. Verified Facebook Pages On May 29th, Facebook announced that it is beginning to verify pages and profiles. Similar to verified Twitter accounts, a small blue check mark will identify a verified page or profile. While this will take many months to completely roll out, we&rsq ...

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Picture This: Using Instagram and Community Policing to Counter Violent Extremism

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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Today’s guest post comes from the staff of the Community Policing and Countering Violent Extremism project at the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Social media is a great tool for law enforcement to use for connecting, communicating, and engaging the community, a point well established in this blog with posts like this, this, and this.  Unfortunately, social media can also be a great tool for violent extremists to connect, communicate, and engage. Extremists use a combination of traditional websites, mainstream social media platforms, and other specialized sites to identify, groom, radicalize, and communicate with one another. Extremists have uploaded videos to YouTube and Facebook and have been tweeting for years.  Recently, extremists and their sympathizers are turning to less mainstream social media platforms, particularly Instagram. Extremists—especially those overseas—are using Instagram to post and share pictures, promote propaganda, and communicate with mem ...

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Expanding the Reach of Your Blog

By Frank Domizio

Frank Domizio

Frank Domizio is a Corporal with the Philadelphia Police Department in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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An often overlooked part of blogging is the picture.  More people interact with posts that contain engaging pictures.  They can grab the reader’s attention and get them to read something they may have otherwise passed right by. While picking out the right picture is important, it is also very important to give it a meaningful title.  Much blog traffic is generated by search engines referrals.  Think about it like this, search engines do not see this:     they see this:   <img class="size-full wp-image-184" src=” http://frankdomizio.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/flash-300x116.png" width="488" height="389" /> In the above example, unless you are trying to reach people searching for “flash-300x116”, you have failed (I am guilty too, this is an example from my personal blog).  A better title for the picture may have been “futility-of-blogging”.  Even better than that, come up with a few key ideas that you t ...

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Thursday, June 06, 2013

Leveraging Public Safety’s Reach During Special Events – A “Mobile-Messaging” Field Force!

By Dave Norris

Dave Norris

Dave Norris is a sergeant with San Mateo, California, Police Department.

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I recently had the opportunity to participate in the command post at Maker Faire. This 2-day event, touted as the “premier event for grassroots American innovation,” features a large number of tinkerers and inventors extraordinaire, giant scrap-metal fire-breathing dragons, and all sorts of home-made transportation apparatus and robots. The 2013 event drew about 100,000 in attendance over the two days, more than matching the population of our City of San Mateo.  I’ll point you to the Facebook page for the event at the end of this blog, because if I do so now, you will be LOST in fascination, as were scores of adults and children at this distraction-filled event over each of the last three years. Many were only lost for a few moments, thanks to a very well-organized security team – but with a crowd this large, and only a small handful of police officers (two to four officers and a sergeant), one might see how the pressure would start to mount if kids were not located right away. ...

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Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Integrating Video into Your Department's Social Media Efforts

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 recently participated in a training sponsored by the IACP’s web technologies partner, Matrix Group International on “Getting Started with Web Video and Tips for Shooting Your Own Video.” The IACP doesn’t do much in the way of video, either through association-wide efforts or for individual projects and programs like its recruitment initiative, Discover Policing… yet.  But video is SUCH a powerful and popular medium, we would be remiss to ignore it and so would you.  I’m not necessarily talking about high production quality video requiring fancy equipment or editing suites.  While all that may be nice, it’s not required to produce an effective video.    Videos are hugely social and sharable – a great way to convey information quickly and succinctly.  Here are some ideas, tips, and resources to get you thinking about how to integrate video into your department’s social media efforts. Idea Factory •   ...

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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 Digital Communications Manager for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, which is the largest, full-service sheriff’s office in the state of Colorado. Prior to that, she spent more than six years creating and leading the Richmond, Virginia, Police Department’s social media efforts, which led to international acclaim and recognition.

She has spoken about law enforcement and social media at more than a dozen conferences across the country in addition to four IACP annual conferences. Waugh is a former newspaper reporter who wrote about crime, police, and the court system for several 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 @JeffCoSheriffCo.

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.

Zach Perron

Lieutenant Zach Perron is the public affairs manager for the Palo Alto (CA) Police Department. Zach was a 2014 visiting fellow at the IACP in the Center for Social Media. He serves on the steering committee for the Bay Area Law Enforcement Social Media Group (BALESMG), and is a member of the US. Department of Homeland Security's Virtual Social Media Working Group (VSMWG). He holds a bachelor's degree in American Studies from Stanford University and is now pursuing a graduate education at the Naval Postgraduate School's Center for Homeland Defense and Security in Monterey, California.  You can follow him on Twitter: @zpPAPD.

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 was a sworn police officer for 25 years with experience in front line operations, primary response, traffic, detective operations, and supervision. He has training in a broad spectrum of policing responsibilities including IMS, Emergency Management, computer assisted technology investigations, leadership, community policing, and crisis communications. Tim left policing but has remained involved through consulting with law enforcement on the advancement of communications and social media. Tim runs #CopChat on Wednesday nights at 9pm ET, to allow police and community members to connect and break down barriers. To learn more about him you can follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook or click here to contact him http://bit.ly/ContactTimBurrows

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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