The Social Media Beat

Enter Title

You must be in Edit Mode to enter content, and then you can use the Module Action Menu or Module Action Buttons to manage content

The Social Media Beat

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Tweets and Opinions Don’t Represent My Agency*

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.

Read Full Bio…

The majority of police departments in the United States now have some sort of presence on Twitter, and that’s a good thing. When used correctly and effectively, departments big and small can successfully manage critical incidents by tweeting out timely information and dispelling rumors. The rise of law enforcement on social media has also brought about many police officers, command staff, and chiefs who have created their own Twitter accounts. This is also a good thing as it fosters communication and engagement with the public and allows people to get to know the faces behind the badge. Some have “official” Twitter accounts bearing profile photos in uniform while others have “non-professional” accounts with Twitter bios that say something similar to, “tweets and opinions are my own and don’t reflect my agency…” Those with professional accounts know (or should know) to stay away from tweeting about certain topics like politics, personal opinions, or r ...

Read the rest of entry »

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Let's Talk Platforms

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.

Read Full Bio…

Effectively communicating with the communities we serve is the foundation to successful policing. Social media, which will never replace our day to day interactions with the public, has now become an integral tool in building trust and passing on timely information to the public and media. Yet, not all social media platforms are the same and it would be a mistake for us to consider them so. Each has unique advantages and disadvantages. Knowing the differences will maximize your time and limited resources in reaching your community and increase the effectiveness of your messaging. Facebook As popular as Facebook is for us to keep in touch with friends and relatives, it has some significant challenges as an effective communication platform for police departments. If Facebook is your department’s only social media communication tool, you need to understand the factors at play which prevent your followers from seeing your posts. This is because your department Facebook “Page” has to comp ...

Read the rest of entry »

Monday, January 11, 2016

Do You Speak Digital?

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.

Read Full Bio…

There's a new language sweeping the land. The younger generations speak it fluently. The masses are quickly adopting it. It sounds a lot like English but there are subtle nuances to it that are linked to pop culture and current events. Does your department speak it? Many of us serve diverse communities that speak a number of languages. In the last few years, a new "community” has emerged across the globe. That community is digital and although English may go a long way in reaching that audience, the dialect is "digital" and it's important that your department knows how to speak it. Social media tweets and posts will never replace face-to-face communication. Visual cues like body language, eye contact, and even voice inflection help provide contextual cues for our day-to-day "in person" communications. When you take those cues away, it can be easy to misunderstand texts, tweets, and posts. In addition, our industry is famous for speaking in a "just the facts" voice and tone online. Is it any surprise t ...

Read the rest of entry »

Sunday, October 25, 2015

#IACP2015 Recap: Reducing Tensions Between Citizens and Police by Taking Outreach Efforts Social

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.

Read Full Bio…

Day 2 at the IACP Annual Conference and Exposition Public Information Officers (PIO) track started off with "Reducing Tensions Between Citizens and Police by Taking Your Outreach Efforts Social" by Laura McElroy. With the backdrop of a challenging year for law enforcement, Laura touched on a number of strategies and efforts to recruit and build relationships in the Tampa, Florida community. Tampa Police Department launched a 6-week recruiting campaign among their faith based community. Wanting a more diverse police force, TPD visited a number of churches and shared about their efforts to outreach in the community while also sparking interest in starting a career in law enforcement. The campaign brought the police department and community closer and also drove up their social media engagement statistics; a definite win/win. In addition to hosting a citizen's police academy for their adult community, TPD created a Teen Citizen's Academy geared towards at-risk youth. This too was highly e ...

Read the rest of entry »

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Social Media Notifications and Engagement: Two Sides of the Same Coin

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.

Read Full Bio…

Last year, IACP conducted a survey of law enforcement agencies and 95% stated they used social media (most for investigative purposes). That's a great metric and a huge change from a few years ago. There's no question social media is mainstream, not only for the public but also for law enforcement. Yet, even though your agency is "on social media," are you missing out on a great opportunity to grow trust with your community? There is a distinct difference between using social media for notifications (one-way communication) and using social media for engagement (two-way conversations). Both are needed and are actually two sides of the same coin. Used correctly, it's a powerful tool to reach and engage your community. Used incorrectly and your audience will ignore or mock your efforts. Here are some tips to look like a pro in the digital world: Notifications  Using social media channels for community notifications is fairly easy for most law enforcement agencies. In our business, we're used to sending/r ...

Read the rest of entry »

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

It’s Simply Not Your News to Break: #StayInYourLane

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.

Read Full Bio…

Recently Northern California law enforcement was rocked by horrific news when the Hayward Police Department suffered the tragic loss of Sgt. Scott Lunger, shot and killed in the line of duty on July 22nd. As we see time and again across the country, news breaks on Twitter and other social media platforms and is then carried by the mainstream media. It was no different for this case. Unfortunately, sometimes we in law enforcement are our own worst enemy. In the case above, it was other law enforcement departments that helped break the news of the officer’s death on Twitter, instead of the primary jurisdiction handling the incident. In the interest of breaking news first, the mainstream media does not hesitate to rely on a tweet from any credible law enforcement social media account to act as their source for verification of information. In the case of Sgt. Lunger’s incident, many of us watched the news break that morning about the officer involved shooting. The official tweet from Haywar ...

Read the rest of entry »

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Social Media at Special Events

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.

Read Full Bio…

Whether it’s a community festival, sporting event, concert, or other large event gathering, strategically communicating through your digital media channels can greatly magnify your agency’s reach to attendees and assist with getting timely information from the command post to the public. These days, most events have an associated hashtag. Prior to the event, these hashtags are usually used for marketing purposes by the event planners. This is an opportune time for your agency to identify and use the same hashtag to send out pre-event safety tips, traffic detour information, or anything else relevant for attendees to know. The added advantage to using a hashtag is that it will help you reach people who don’t normally follow you but are already part of the social conversation for the event. My colleague in the city next to me, Lt. Zach Perron, does a great job of this at Stanford University Football games.  #NerdNation is a frequently used hashtag for their games and by using it effective ...

Read the rest of entry »

Monday, September 15, 2014

Twitter Tips for Law Enforcement Social Media

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.

Read Full Bio…

Not all digital media channels are created equal. Each platform appeals to people differently and each looks and feels different. Knowing these nuances can help reach your community in a more effective manner. Today, we’ll focus on Twitter with future posts covering other platforms. What makes Twitter a great messaging tool for law enforcement is its innate ability to inform the public through short bursts of information. Effectively crafted tweets can quickly provide factual information, dispel misinformation or rumor, and provide a historical timeline of your agency’s professional efforts to resolve an in-progress event. By following a few guidelines, you can greatly expand your reach and increase the odds that your tweet will be retweeted. Keep it short Although Twitter gives you 140 characters to craft your tweet, try to aim for a tweet with around 120 characters. Doing so allows gives people space to add commentary and makes it easier to retweet your message. #Hashtags If you h ...

Read the rest of entry »

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Reaching Out To Community and Business Stakeholders

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.

Read Full Bio…

At its core, contemporary policing is about keeping our communities safe by building partnerships with the community, putting criminals behind bars, and creating an environment where all of our stakeholders feel safe to go about their daily business.   Police departments across the nation are doing an incredible job connecting with the community.  Every day my Twitter feed is filled with tweets about officers out in the community doing great work, working with youth, or attending “Coffee with the Cops” type events.  Great relationships are being built with communities and social media is there to tell the story. But, let’s not stop there.  Have you considered the same approach and efforts to your other stakeholders? Think about all of the business, schools, churches, and civic groups in your jurisdiction.  Chances are they’re on social media and talking about events in your community.  Consider special events, concerts, fairs, or athletic games. Odds ...

Read the rest of entry »

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

If You “Do Social,” You Need a Strategy

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.

Read Full Bio…

Police departments using social media fall into two broad categories: 1.    Those who use social media to broadcast information. 2.    Those who use social media to broadcast information AND engage with their community by incorporating a department strategy on how best to use social media to reach their community. According to the IACP 2013 Social Media Survey, 95.9% of agencies surveyed use social media in some capacity and of those, the most common use is for criminal investigations (86.1%).  Outside of the survey, my personal experience in speaking with various departments and watching their activity online is that most fall in the first category.  Many want to do more but most of the challenges center around: 1) budgetary constraints of funding a social media manager or 2) finding someone within the organization who has the technical skills, organizational credibility, and trust to speak for the department.  It's no easy task, but if you can get your de ...

Read the rest of entry »

Pages: 123NextReturn Top

Text/HTML

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.

Search this blog

Search

View Posts

By Date

By Author

By Tag

About the Authors

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.

Created by Matrix Group International, Inc.