Most of us that deal with the media and public in law enforcement are called public information officers. But let's face it; we are media relations specialists, crisis communications experts, marketing managers, and advertising executives. We just do it for a police department in the public sector. But our work in today's electronic age is that of someone who works for a large company handling all of the above mentioned jobs.
The only difference is the ROI, return on investment. In the private sector all companies gauge their communications, media, and advertising campaigns on ROI. Does the latest advertising campaign or social media campaign give us the return we are investing in it? As I present at conferences to fellow PIOs and others in law enforcement I get that question a lot. How do you measure your return on investment? My answer to them is always the same. I believe our return on investment is the residents in our community and us keeping them informed.
It keeps coming back to the same starting point, our purpose to be on social media. For us, it's to keep residents informed. As much as I love our Web site, www.bocapolice.com
, I know most people are not going to it to see what happened in Boca Raton. But if they are following us on Facebook
they are staying informed because we automatically show up on their wall. When they check in to see what is going on, they will see stories on our arrests and other good things going on in the city. We know the media is our partner, but things in the news world have changed, staffs have been scaled back and they are only covering stories that have a wow factor. But our residents, our customers, want to know what we are doing about all the homes being broken into and if we arrested anyone. Unfortunately, the broadcast media really isn't interested in that unless something bigger happens as a result.
So to me, the ROI, return on investment is simple. Our residents being informed on the good we do if they are following us. That's it, keep them informed.