Date: Friday, February 21, 2014
In the world of business, this type of branding on a social media account is an absolute nightmare and I don’t mean having your account hacked.
What I mean is the absolutely confusing image that is created when the brand, the message, and the strategy are all just one giant mess.
There are so many police and law enforcement agencies that are entering the social media field now. A few years ago, there were just a handful of forward thinking agencies and now there are thousands of agencies and officers that are spreading the message of safety, security, and service.
One of the challenges that this creates for agencies is the naming of their accounts and the strategy behind those accounts messaging. Here is where the illustration above comes into focus for police. Branding. So many agencies are missing the awesome opportunity to share their image both figuratively and realistically. While others have done a masterful job of this.
John Michael Morgan
, author of “Brand Against The Machine,” shared this thought with me about this, “I think consistency is important with any branding efforts. Social streams that all represent one entity should build trust and having a consistent look is one way to achieve that.”
Consistent branding allows any user from around the world to instantly identify with who is speaking in the social space by image alone.
One police agency that has rocked this philosophy and has done so since the beginning of their existence is the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office. Under the direction of Captain Mike Parker
, the LASD was deliberate in designing the naming convention of over 40 official accounts. Captain Parker has also advised many agencies on his agency’s practices and that is evident in how accounts on the West Coast and beyond have developed multiple accounts under one branded umbrella. No confusion, no questions, and a broader identity are easily realized.
But, I know what you are thinking right now, “Tim, that’s boring and takes away the personable and relatability of the account with the public.”
My answer? Possibly, but what is the goal of the agency message? Create individual accounts or to create a global message?
You want to make more personable and relatable accounts? That in my opinion comes from the voice. Don’t talk like police. Don’t use police speak and allow the individuals personality to shine through! That can be easily done under an agency brand or a cute name, but the agency brand is optimal.
“These men and women are devoted to serving their community and they'll receive more support from that community when there's a personal connection,” said John about being personable. Imagine the power of a well branded account, a personable voice behind that account and then add in a strategy driven program with direction, goals, and objectives! You then have an incredible possibility.
, who’s changing the face of marketing through the use of unmarketing put it this way, “As a community it's important to remain consistent for sure. Some of the best accounts I've seen are "official" ones.”