When it comes to getting important public safety information out to your community, local media is a good ally. Social media allows law enforcement one quick, easy way to reinforce the important safety messages media shares, and to show them the effort is appreciated.
At Boise PD
, we have a pretty good working relationship with our area media, as do many local law enforcement agencies. The PIO office and our officers work with the reporters, photographers, news editors and assignment managers on a daily basis. As you likely experience, sometimes we reach out to them, they reach out to the department, etc. We work hard to make sure it’s a mutually beneficial relationship.
Public safety is a common topic for news stories. And when local media do a piece that provides good safety or crime prevention information, we give them a shout out via our social media. For example:
• Tweet the link to the story on their Web site: “Great advice on preventing car burglaries from @KBOITV bit.ly/zQGeFq ”.
• Retweet important weather information from local TV weather forecasters: “RT@KyleGavlin Leading edge of heavier snow making it's way into Boise. Shouldn't affect roads too much. Most of it over by 3-3:30.”
• Use pictures of traffic crashes reporters take in the field and give them credit for the picture along with your traffic information: “Capital & Idaho blocked after car runs into Key Bank Bldg. No serious injuries. Pic courtesy @KBOITV bit.ly/cZ2mp5“.
• Post a photo of an officer being interviewed for a story to Facebook, urging people to watch the story later for good information: “Boise PD assists with Ch 7 Investigation: Are people living in former meth houses without a proper clean up? BPD Narcotics Unit Sgt. M. Harrington was interviewed for the piece and tells what officers find when they first walk into a meth house. There's a reason officers wear protective clothing to collect the chemicals. Watch tonight at 10pm on KTVB.”
• Post the link to a good safety or crime prevention news story on your own Facebook page: “Boise 2011 Crime is Down - Again. Major crime is down 3.8%, a decrease led by a drop in reported property crimes; Learn more in this story that aired last night on KIVI Ch 6: Boise Police release 2011 crime stats - www.kivitv.com
Even if the local media is reporting on a story they got from one of your news releases, if they do a good job on it - cross-promote it with your own social media! The reporters and news managers in your news market will appreciate it, you’ll share the good safety information with an even larger audience, and you’ll reinforce your place in your community as the go-to partner for all things public safety.