The Social Media Beat

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The Social Media Beat

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How to Continue Your Social Media Momentum

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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Though law enforcement agencies across the world are at a variety of stages when it comes to social media use, those of us who have been doing this for a while now may be wondering what we should be doing next. My colleague at Boca Raton Police, Mark Economou, is currently using a webcam to share quick video blurbs with his community about the overnight’s crime. It’s very creative, clever, and a great way to reach their community because it’s short, informative and interactive. It also uses one of the most popular platforms out there – video. I would love for us to do this in the future, and I know several other agencies would like to do so as well. But for those who may not have such video capabilities, Mark’s great speaking skills, or the interest in that type of social media, I advise remembering that social media is largely about people. People sharing and relaying information; people sharing pictures and videos with those who are in different locations across the world ...

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Five Analytics That Matter

By Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows

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

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How many of you have received the e-mail or direct message that was trying to sell you on understanding analytics or that promised you a tool that could measure your social program in a way that no other tool could ever do! You may have even been told that someone could provide you an algorithm that could intuitively figure out a schedule for what to post, when to post, and where to post for incredible results. Measuring your social performance is vital.  Let me preface that…if you have actually established a strategy and set goals for your social program, then measurement is vital.  Measurement is the best way to determine if you are moving towards those goals.  But do you know what to measure?  Do you know what matters? There is a reason numbers are often referred to as a game.  You know, “The numbers game.” Statistics can be analyzed to say what you want them to say, so what do we measure that is important and will provide actual value so that the game e ...

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Respond Before It Goes Viral

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 seems to be happening more and more.  A media outlet reports something and before you know it, it’s gone viral.  It’s a frantic, uncontrolled environment.  Tweets double, triple, etc.  It reminds me of the old Faberge shampoo commercial from the 80’s featuring a young Heather Locklear http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCjmDI4AJlk   But the problem is when the information is not accurate and before you know it you are trying to do damage control, but it’s too late.  That is why we need to respond, and respond quickly.  We can have meetings debating the reasons we shouldn’t respond but remember, it’s continuing to multiple.  Most times getting out in front will at least slow if not stop the out of control spiral. We saw how effective it was in Boston during the terrorist manhunt, rumors were flying so fast you couldn’t keep up.  But Boston police just kept tweeting and addressing them and putting out accurate information ...

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Law Enforcement’s Use of Social Media and the Perception of Rising Crime

By Chris Hsiung

Chris Hsiung

Captain Chris Hsiung commands the Field Operations Division at the Mountain View Police Department in California. You can follow him on Twitter @chMtnViewPD.

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About the author: Lieutenant Chris Hsiung is assigned to Special Operations and is the social media manager in charge of strategy, community engagement and growth through the police department social media channels. Chris has been serving the Mountain View community for over 18 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. Twitter: @chMtnViewPD. About the co-author: Shino Tanaka is MVPD’s Public Safety and Social Media Community Coordinator where she also leads the Community Action and Information Unit. Shino drives the department’s social strategy and community relations. Prior to joining MVPD, she worked in social product development for technology start-ups — one of which was acquired by Johnson & Johnson. Shino is also a former police officer with Menlo Park Police Department. One of the beauties of ...

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pure-Form LE Social Networking – Inter-Agency Coordination and Collaboration, and #BALESMG

By Dave Norris

Dave Norris

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

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We are likely to all agree that with the complete facelift created by social media over the last few years, the profile of the law enforcement PIO has changed dramatically. In addition to our standard, garden variety press releases, many of us now blog, microblog, videograph, and interact with the public and media in ways our predecessor PIOs never imagined.   When I first apprenticed in as PIO, my boss emphasized one of our firm standard practices: “Make sure if your press release touches another agency, that we have reached out to that agency and that they are prepared to be mentioned.” Great, sage advice. I wanted to take that to the next level, so I seized any opportunity to take point on multi-agency press releases, to control our information output, hold great multijurisdictional press until all agencies have done their follow-up and photo lineups, and give the media something comprehensive and valuable to this major metropolitan area with scores of small and medium sized jurisdiction ...

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Social Media for Police Recruitment: How to Target Specific Populations

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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This post was borne out of a query the Center for Social Media received from one of its many avid readers. And what a great question it is – how to use social media to recruit specific populations? Let’s look at a few platforms that are particularly well suited to this task. Facebook Facebook advertising is probably the easiest and most obvious social media platform for dialing in on a specific target audience.  Sponsored Facebook ads allow you to really, really focus your campaign. If you want to reach males ages 24 to 31 who graduated from a local historically black college with a degree in finance, or who live in a certain zip code,  or are in the Army, or who speak Chinese, and also have an interest in outdoor fitness activities, you can do that. Ads can promote and link to Facebook pages or separate websites. This feature is not free, of course, but it’s not expensive either. You can set a daily expenditure to match your budget.   LinkedIn Chief Grogan&rsqu ...

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Stoking the Competitive Spirit

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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Earlier this week, we posted updated lists of agencies with the most Facebook likes and Twitter followers. This particular Center for Social Media feature is growing in popularity and we thought it was worth examining it more deeply in a blog post.   We’ve been compiling these lists on a quarterly (give or take) basis since March 2011.  The recent iterations include all non-federal law enforcement agencies in the United States that are included our directory.  If your agency isn’t in the directory, let us know (be sure to include the URL to your social media page(s)). If you’re a regular reader of The Social Media Beat, you know the number of followers and friends can helpful as an analytical tool but these numbers are not the “be all end all” of measuring success. Agency personnel have used the list information in a lot of different ways and for a lot of different reasons – bragging rights, grant applications, goal setting, and providing context to lead ...

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Tuesday, July 09, 2013

My Go-To Monitoring Tool

By Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows

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

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There are about as many tools out there to monitor social media platforms as there are social media platforms.  The reason that they exist is reflective of the importance that monitoring plays in brand and reputation management. Monitoring tools aren’t built for the vast majority of social users.  They are built primarily for business. Businesses need to pay very close attention to what is happening in their industries because they have a lot riding on what consumers think, talk about, say, and feel.  They want to know what their competition is doing in the hearts and minds of the public.  Money is the driver.  Sales, reputation, public relations, market share.  They all are a part of the listening process. In the simplest words, monitoring tools pull information from across the social networks into your world so that you can see what is being talking about. They allow you to ‘listen’ to more information in less time by putting in place keywords or topi ...

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Friday, July 05, 2013

Public Safety Isn't Just Cops: An Interview with James Garrow

By Frank Domizio

Frank Domizio

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

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A few days ago, a friend of mine (and super-duper public health social media guy), Jim Garrow, wrote a post on his blog about the importance of posting regularly. His ideas really resonated with me and I reached out to him so he could share his ideas with you. Here is what we talked about: FD: Why is it important to post regularly? JG: There are at least three vitally important reasons why you should be publishing to your blog as much as possible. First, to quote no less than Ray Bradbury, “If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life.” Writers write, and that’s how they get better at writing. Regularly posting helps you, and your agency, develop the talents needed to be good bloggers. Practice may not make perfect, but it certainly does move one closer to perfection. Second, the public is assaulted hundreds of thousands of times per day with content: television ...

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Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Posting Incident Scene Photos on Social Media: A Word of Caution

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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Most law enforcement agencies prohibit their staff from taking photos at accident scenes, crime scenes, and other incidents and posting them on their personal social media sites.  This is certainly a best practice and can prevent embarrassing situations from occurring.  However, many agencies allow certain photos of scenes to be posted on the agency’s social media sites in order to inform the public about the activity.  When done properly, this can be a great benefit to the community.  When done improperly, the practice can be a nightmare for the agency. If a few simple precautions are taken, most problems can be avoided.  Of course each agency is governed by the individual rules of their state.  A general rule to follow is to not post photos where the people involved in the incident are readily identifiable.  Recent changes in Connecticut and New Jersey law make it a criminal offense for emergency personnel (fire, EMS, or police) to take photos depicting patients u ...

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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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