Like most police agencies using social networking, we at Boise PD
, and sometimes our Facebook page
to communicate breaking news. And since BPD has been using these sites, we’ve urged local media to follow our sites for public safety and traffic alerts
– or risk missing it!
In the Boise PD PIO office, we’re still issuing e-mails to media, but for almost all breaking news, traffic alerts, and community service news, we FIRST get the info out via our social network sites, reaching both citizens AND the media with the information.
Occasionally, I’ll send media an e-mail reminding them to be sure to follow BPD social network sites. Still, this week, after nearly two years of this practice, I had a call from one newsroom manager complaining they had missed an update, in this case, the number of acres burned in a local grass fire.
A good suggestion (and the one I made to the newsroom manager) is to have reporters use TweetDeck and set up a group, which makes a separate column for high priority feeds, like police, fire, etc. Here in Boise, we also have a TV news station hiring several new people (not uncommon), and I’ve offered to go out to the station, at their convenience, and present a session on how to best get information from the Boise Police Department, which will feature following the department on social networks.
The days of e-mails just to media are over. It’s in law enforcement’s best interest – and media folks understand – to get urgent and community public safety information out to the citizens we serve as quickly and directly as possible.