The Social Media Beat

The Social Media Beat

Thursday, March 27, 2014

When You’re Short on Content, Try This…

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.

Read Full Bio…

Police departments are busy and rarely have a shortage of content to support their social media efforts. Between crime trend notifications, active investigations, cold cases, wanted persons, community events and outreach, there’s always something going on.  Nevertheless, just like mainstream media, there are always slow news days. When you are stumped for content ideas for your blog or Facebook page, it’s always nice to have a fallback, a go-to bank of ideas or even pre-written stories to post and fill the void. Below are a handful of ideas to keep in your back pocket, some with links to examples. Q&As Staff interviews make for great content. They are quick, easy, and informative. Sample questions might include asking folks to summarize their job duties, how long they’ve worked with the department, why they chose this career, this department, etc.  Interview folks, snap their photo, write it up, and you have a great blog post ready to go. Interviews can be dual purpose ...

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Blogging for Recruits

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.

Read Full Bio…

Last month I explored Facebook pages dedicated to recruitment. This month, we’ll take a look at blogs devoted to the same task.  These two approaches have similar benefits. Namely, the option for readers to comment on a post and ask questions.   Answering commonly asked questions in a public forum can help recruiters save time. You may be asking, “Why do I need a recruitment blog when I already have a website or webpage that focuses on recruitment?”  Good question. Dedicated recruitment websites or webpages certainly are fine but they don’t offer the flexibility of a blog. With a blog YOU create and upload the content and the images, and visitors can comment on your posts. With a website, (typically) you have to go through a web developer to edit or update the content. Blogs offer a platform for current content and routine updates. If you don’t have that, or have the time to create it, and you’re fine with the static nature of a website/page, there&rs ...

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Facebook Pages Dedicated to Police Recruitment

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.

Read Full Bio…

Police department Facebook pages are, by now, almost standard.  But what about separate pages dedicated to recruitment?  Once a rarity, such pages are now more common, not just among larger agencies hiring rafts of new recruits, but smaller and midsize agencies as well. While hiring efforts certainly should be included on a department’s main Facebook page, having a separate page dedicated to recruitment can make a lot of sense.  The police hiring process can be lengthy, involving many steps and hurdles.  Through dedicated recruitment pages, recruiters can provide real-time updates to applicants and respond to questions in an open, publicly accessible forum.  This ability to communicate directly and indirectly with applicants can help keep them engaged and informed throughout the hiring process.  It can also be more efficient than responding to countless e-mails. Take a look at how these departments are using Facebook specifically for recruitment:   •  ...

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Monday, December 23, 2013

The Best of Police in Social Media 2013

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.

Read Full Bio…

Any blog worthy of its loyal readership needs a year end, best-of list. Lest The Social Media Beat not disappoint, here are the top law enforcement social media stories from 2013. Cheap Otter, an Internet Sensation Chief David Oliver (or “Cheap Otter” as his preschool admirers call him) and the Brimfield Police Department Facebook page were an early 2013 internet sensation. They started the year with 20,000 likes – not bad for a town of about 8,000.  By summer, that number tripled as major news outlets took note.  Now, following a highly publicized retort to rapper to Kanye West, likes are topping 130,000. Random Acts of Kindness … with “Sole” A picture is worth a thousand words and at least as many shares and likes. Such was the case with this photo of a Toronto police officer  tying an elderly man’s shoes.  There must be something about this theme. At the end of 2012, a NYPD officer enjoyed 15 minutes of fame for a viral photo of him off ...

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Social Media Monitoring and Special Event Security

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.

Read Full Bio…

Today’s post is the last in a series of blog posts highlighting IACP 2013 social media workshops. This post is about the Leveraging Concepts and Techniques of Social Media Monitoring and Analytics to Enhance Special Event Security and Executive Protection Capabilities session on Monday, October 21. This session, moderated by Bryan Ware, CEO and chief technology strategist of Digital Sandbox, was part of the Technology and Information Sharing track at IACP 2013. The workshop provided attendees with a good introduction to the fast-growing and ever-evolving field of social media monitoring, citing examples from Super Bowl XLVI and the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center and HIDTA. Social media is not just a “thing” but an environment that we work in and around. The volume and velocity of data available is ever-increasing from a broad variety of sources.  Facebook is viewed as a higher quality source of data, since accounts are generally valid people.  Special event ...

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The 411 on Social Media: Tools and Tactics for Successful Conversations

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.

Read Full Bio…

Today’s post is the sixth in a series of blog posts highlighting IACP 2013 social media workshops. This post is about the 411 on Social Media: Tools and Tactics for Successful Conversations session on Saturday, October 19. This session was led by a pair of law enforcement social media rock stars: Lieutenant Christopher Cook and Officer Zhivonni McDonnell of the Arlington, Texas, Police Department. Arlington was awarded the "Most Innovative Use of Social Media" by the Center for Digital Government in 2012, so attendees were learning from the best. This workshop was geared for PIOs and executive staff on how to create a social media program from existing resources and offered a wealth of great information on maximizing social media as a community engagement tool. Lieutenant Cook and Officer McDonnell provided insight on the benefits of social media for law enforcement, tips for getting started, and strategies for success in a variety of platforms.   Benefits to law enforcement taking advantag ...

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Friday, October 04, 2013

Creating Content for Recruiting

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.

Read Full Bio…

Social media is a great way to communicate with and engage the public, but it is also a stellar recruiting tool.  Generating social media content around recruitment can – and should - go beyond merely posting job announcements, exam dates, and application deadlines.  Officer testimonials and virtual-ride-alongs are great for providing insight into what the job entails.  Consider also what kind of content you are putting out there that speaks to your department as an employer.  This information is interesting and informative for potential candidates, but also beneficial to the public at large. Here are some ideas to consider: Mission and Values. Does your agency’s vision, mission, and values shine through your social media? Consider a series of blog posts or videos illustrating how officers are actualizing the department’s mission in different ways.  What are the core values of your department and how does the hiring process seek to identify new recruits who align ...

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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

What’s New in YouTube Channels

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.

Read Full Bio…

Fall asleep at the wheel of your social media campaign, and when you wake up you’ll find stuff has changed. Such is the case with YouTube, which – as you may or may not know, depending on your sleep pattern – changed its channel layout earlier this year to “YouTube One Channel” – a more versatile format that makes for seamless viewing across platforms (desktop, mobile, tablet, etc). So, the lovely background image you made for your “old” channel back in the day – Alaska State Troopers, I’m talking to you, well it’s now gone with the wind and replaced with a delightful geometric banner color keyed to your avatar. Here are some tips to get you going with the new(ish) You Tube One Channel layout: •    Update your art.  The banner is called “Channel Art” and it’s really not a banner.       It’s a giant image that will scale automatically to look great on any device, from &nb ...

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Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Custom Facebook Tabs for Police Recruitment (and other stuff)

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.

Read Full Bio…

I have to confess … I’ve been neglecting Facebook. Ever since the last overhaul with the timeline and the cover photos, I’ve just fallen behind. Thanks to an inquiry from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, I’m turning to Facebook anew, looking for what’s new (ish) and worth considering when comes to recruitment.  Today’s topic: Tabs – a great way to highlight important information. Facebook “tabs” are the boxes right under your cover photo.  The first tab defaults to Photos and cannot be changed, but the others are fair game.  Consider devoting one of them to recruitment information.  Unfortunately, customizing these tabs is not for the faint of heart. That is to say, it is not an inherent feature of Facebook, rather, you must use a third party application to accomplish this task.   Idea Factory Here are some examples of custom tab content to consider -- some specifically recruitment-related, some not – with ...

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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.

Read Full Bio…

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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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

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.

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