The Social Media Beat

The Social Media Beat

Friday, April 04, 2014

Professionalization of the Social Media Manager Role

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.

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When the time comes for your agency to fill a social media collateral assignment or position, what attributes, skill sets, or experiences are important to look for? Is it better to have an outside candidate with real world social media experience or is it better to train someone up from within your organization? Granted, the vast majority of police departments across this country are still recovering from the belt-tightening recession era and very few, if any, have the luxury of creating or dedicating positions solely to social media. However, I truly believe the role of a social media coordinator in police departments will become mainstream in the coming years. Why? Think about all of the promises social media has to offer: increased community engagement, organizational transparency, or controlling the message during crisis (to name a few). These are a perfect complement to community policing philosophy and have made social media an indispensable part of policing in the modern era. In the mid 80&rsqu ...

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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Community Outreach through Social Media: An Agency-Wide Approach

By Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger

The Social Media Beat periodically features guest bloggers who share their perspective on the topic of social media and law enforcement.

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Lt. Andy Johnson is a 15-year veteran of the Hanover Park, IL Police Department.  He currently serves as Commander of Investigations and oversees detectives, special operations, and crime analysis.  Andy has served in a variety of roles within the Hanover Park PD including patrol sergeant, detective, special operations officer, and patrol officer.  Andy led a committee tasked with developing a social media outreach initiative for the Hanover Park Police Department, known as the Police and Citizens Connected (PACC) Program.  The PACC Program is a department-wide initiative which includes a presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other applications. Much has been written regarding the hesitation amongst many law enforcement agencies to embrace the growing trend towards social media.  While there are clear advantages, there are significant concerns for agency administrators to consider, ranging from privacy and confidentiality issues, manpower demands, technological capabilities o ...

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Sharing the Reins

By Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is a member of the Richmond Police Department's Public Affairs Unit in Richmond, Virginia. Follow Dionne on Twitter @RichmondPolice.

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If your agency has a pretty well established and active Facebook and Twitter page and you’re looking for that next step in enhancing your social media presence, let me suggest allowing some of your officers to tweet on behalf of the department. Though the idea of sharing the reins of all your social media hard work with others who have different skill levels and other responsibilities may sound scary, with planning and guidance, it can be hugely beneficial. One large agency example is the Dallas Police Department. If you haven’t heard about their recently unveiled campaign called “DPD Tweets Big,” it’s something to read about. They’re one of the first agencies in the country to support and encourage their officers to tweet from the field. The Philadelphia Police Department is another great example. Two members of our command staff – Deputy Chief John Buturla (www.Twitter.com/RPDDepChiefJB) and sector Lt. Dave Naoroz (www.Twitter.com/RPDLtDave) – have be ...

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

When You’re Short on Content, Try This…

By Tracy Phillips

Tracy Phillips

Tracy, an IACP Senior Project Specialist, is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of IACP's recruitment initiative, Discover Policing.

Want to hear more from Tracy Phillips? Follow her and the Discover Policing team on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Inside Discover Policing blog.

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Police departments are busy and rarely have a shortage of content to support their social media efforts. Between crime trend notifications, active investigations, cold cases, wanted persons, community events and outreach, there’s always something going on.  Nevertheless, just like mainstream media, there are always slow news days. When you are stumped for content ideas for your blog or Facebook page, it’s always nice to have a fallback, a go-to bank of ideas or even pre-written stories to post and fill the void. Below are a handful of ideas to keep in your back pocket, some with links to examples. Q&As Staff interviews make for great content. They are quick, easy, and informative. Sample questions might include asking folks to summarize their job duties, how long they’ve worked with the department, why they chose this career, this department, etc.  Interview folks, snap their photo, write it up, and you have a great blog post ready to go. Interviews can be dual purpose ...

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Make Sure Your Social Media Is Actually Social

By Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger

The Social Media Beat periodically features guest bloggers who share their perspective on the topic of social media and law enforcement.

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Chris Rasmussen has been in law enforcement for 23 years, having served in both the San Francisco Police Department and in the Redwood City Police Department (since 1997).  He is one of the founding members of the Redwood City Police Social Media Team where he helped to develop the city-wide social media policy and is currently the social media project manager for the department. Chris was also one of the founding members and coordinator of the Bay Area Law Enforcement Social Media Group (#BALESMG), a group of over 50 Bay Area law enforcement agencies that discuss best practices in the use of social media and law enforcement. Chris has 20 years of experience as a law enforcement trainer in a variety of fields – including social media. He is part of the Police Honor Guard, Public Information Officer Team, Patrol Rifle Team as well as the Technology Committee, a position where he has had the opportunity to shape policy, implement social media tools, and use it to engage and inform the public. One ...

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Using Social Media to Go Beyond Recruitment

By Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is a member of the Richmond Police Department's Public Affairs Unit in Richmond, Virginia. Follow Dionne on Twitter @RichmondPolice.

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Many agencies have quickly come to realize how beneficial social media sites can be when it comes to recruitment efforts. But do you also realize that the “fans” you make during these endeavors are very likely to stick around and become long-time, strong supporters of your agency? That’s what we’ve seen at Richmond Police during the past five years we’ve used our Facebook page to share information and the experience of what our recruits go through to become sworn officers. We started by doing weekly photos of what the recruits learned that week—from the excitement of being placed in the K-9 bite suit to the dull, but critically important skills of report writing.     We’ve also done a Tumblr blog and different types of video. Though some might question why we keep posting similar information for every class, the comments alone show us why it’s so important. Here’s one example:   Because the recruits in th ...

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Planning Posts with a Content Calendar

By Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows is a recently retired sergeant with 25 years of law enforcement experience.

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One thing I always get a kick out of seeing online is when a corporate account makes a post to social media that starts something like this, “Happening Now” or ”Join us later today” or “Today kicks off the beginning of.” Now I’m not talking about breaking news, an incident, or a press conference. I expect all of those things to be short notice events.  I’m talking about an agency campaign, community meeting, or preplanned event of any type.  You know, something like a week-long pedestrian safety campaign, or national distracted driving awareness campaign. Events that are planned, historic, and on the radar of your agency for a long time are things that you should be planning for your social media posts well in advance. Sometimes we get so caught up in the immediacy of social media that we can forget that you can prepare to post information days, weeks, or months in advance.  Another problem we often encounter is we run out of steam in a hur ...

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Social Media Managers - Don’t Forget the Dispatchers

By Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger

The Social Media Beat periodically features guest bloggers who share their perspective on the topic of social media and law enforcement.

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  About The Author   Officer Mike Bires has been a police officer   for over 20 years in Southern California.   Along with working assignments in   corrections, SWAT, bike patrol, and as a   field training officer, Mike is currently a   university resource officer assigned to a   large university. Having a background in   website design and development, Mike is on   his department’s social media team and the developer of the department’s website. He is an active member of the San Gabriel Valley Law Enforcement Social Media Group. Social media managers can get valuable recommendations and feedback from your department’s customer service agents - the dispatchers. How our social media and website efforts will affect a certain division or section within our department is one of the first points we evaluate and consider when implementing something new on our website or in our social media program. Being that s ...

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

When You Least Expect It, Expect It – Organic Growth & Internal Appeal, and Seizing the Opportunity

By Dave Norris

Dave Norris

Dave Norris is a sergeant with San Mateo, California, Police Department.

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One of my close friends within our department recently took command of a newly formed unit, a hybrid of our old narcotics/vice and gang units now focused on hot-spot policing with a fantastic mission and energy. I have been asking him to help me write up a profile of the Crime Reduction Unit for our Facebook page and SanMateoPD blog for a few months to replace the write-ups on the previous units, but he's been busy, and I've been busy... you know how it goes. So last month, the CRU made a huge seizure of suspected stolen bikes. One of our young and energetic CRU officers teamed up with a social-savvy community service officer and took on our department Pinterest page, which I had registered but not yet started using. They created a board for the bikes, and got some calls after we pushed the information out via Facebook and Twitter.                 My buddy, the CRU Lieutenant calls me: "Dude - I'm checking out the Pinterest page and it ...

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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Building Your Leadership Brand through Twitter

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.

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To all police chiefs and command staff members, this blog post is for you: Chances are, if you’re reading this blog your department already has an official Twitter account and is using it to interact and engage with your community.  Why, then, should chiefs and command staff go through the trouble of creating individual professional Twitter accounts? What would we talk (or tweet) about and why does it matter?  Sure, the obvious reason is to interact with your community, stakeholders, and constituents on a more personal level.  Doing so is a great use of Twitter and makes you more transparent to your community.  But there’s more… First, let’s reframe this discussion.  As leaders of police agencies, we attend countless numbers of award ceremonies, community luncheons, and public events.  In each of these venues, we interact and network with a variety of stakeholders from our community and are always conscientious of representing our departments and ou ...

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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.

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About the Authors

Dionne Waugh

Dionne Waugh is the social media guru for the Richmond Police Department. As a member of the Department's Public Affairs Unit since September 2008, she created and developed the agency's successful use of social media and continues to try and find new ways to improve the way Richmond Police communicate online. She has spoken about law enforcement and social media at more than a dozen conferences across the country in addition to the past four IACP annual conferences. Waugh is a former newspaper reporter who wrote about crime, police, and the court system for six years. That experience and an ingrained curiosity for what makes people tick has fueled her desire to improve communication between people. Follow Dionne on Twitter @RichmondPolice.

IACP Center for Social Media

IACP's Center for Social Media serves as a clearinghouse of information and no-cost resources to help law enforcement personnel to develop or enhance their agency's use of social media and integrate Web 2.0 tools into agency operations. The Center is funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

Leon Robertson

Officer Leon Robertson is the Social Media Coordinator for the Hampton Police Division. Robertson has developed internationally recognized public safety messages, including the Jingle Bells “Holiday Safety Remix” in December 2013. He has extensive experience in graphic design, video & audio production, and managing various social media platforms. You can follow Officer Robertson’s efforts with the Hampton Police Division on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Tracy Phillips

Tracy is a Senior Project Specialist with the IACP. She is responsible for managing the day-to-day operation of the DiscoverPolicing.org Web site and coordinating the site's social networking plan. In addition, Ms. Phillips provides writing, editorial, and technical assistance on a variety of association projects and activities, including police management studies, job analyses, executives searches, federal grants, and various research projects and proposals. She has more than 10 years of experience in state and local government, including work as a management analyst, performance auditor, and crime analyst. Ms. Phillips holds a master's degree in public administration from the University of Georgia and a bachelor's from Clemson University.

Want to hear more from Tracy Phillips? Follow her and the Discover Policing team on TwitterFacebook, and on the Inside Discover Policing blog. You can also network with other police recruitment professionals in the Law Enforcement Recruitment LinkedIn group.

Dave Norris

Sergeant Dave Norris is a 21 year veteran of the City of San Mateo Police Department. He has worked in a number of positions including Juvenile Detective, Field Training Officer, Narcotics Detective, and Patrol Supervisor. Dave is currently assigned to Community and Media Relations and oversees day-to-day functions that involve the relationship between the police, the community, and the media. Dave is dedicated to the increase of community engagement through the use of social media. Under his management, San Mateo PD's direct subscribers to community alerts and public safety messaging has grown from several hundred to over 22,000.

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.

Lynn Hightower

Lynn is the Communications Director and Public Information Officer for the Boise Police Department and has served in that role since October, 2003. Lynn also serves at the PIO for the Boise Fire Department. Lynn authors and manages the social media outreach for Boise Police and often acts as media spokesperson. She advises officers from patrol to command staff on media and public communications skills. Lynn joined the Boise Police Department after 17 years as a television reporter, producer, anchor, and news director. Lynn regularly instructs new officers at the Boise Police Academy and has given media and public communications presentations to dozens of federal, state, and local emergency responder agencies. Follow Lynn and Boise Police on Twitter @BoisePD.

Billy Grogan

Billy Grogan is the Chief of Police for the Dunwoody Police Department in Georgia. Chief Grogan was hired on December 17, 2008, after serving 28 years with the Marietta, Georgia, Police Department, to start a brand new department. On April 1, 2009, the Dunwoody Police Department began operations with 40 sworn officers and eight civilians providing police services to the 47,000+ residents of the City of Dunwoody. Chief Grogan embraced the use of social media from day one of operations. The Dunwoody Police Department began using Twitter the first day and has added Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Vine to their arsenal since then as effective tools to market their department and engage their community. Chief Grogan has written about the benefits of law enforcements use of social media, participated in several social media focus groups and lectured at the IACP, Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police Conference, COPS Conference, and many other venues. Follow Chief Grogan on Twitter @ChiefGrogan and the Dunwoody Police Department @DunwoodyPolice.

Mark Economou

Mark Economou is the Public Information Officer for the Boca Raton Police Department in Boca Raton, Florida. His media and public relations background spans nearly 20 years. Spending nearly 15 years in radio and television news, Economou held many positions from assignment editor, reporter, anchor, and executive editor. After that, he served as the Director of Media Relations for Cote & D'Ambrosio, a Public Relations, Marketing and Advertising firm in Wickford, RI. He then served as head of Media Relations for Citizens Bank of Rhode Island, the 9th largest bank in the United States. Follow Mark on Twitter @BocaPolice.

Frank Domizio

Corporal Frank Domizio has been with the Philadelphia Police Department since 1997. He is currently assigned to the FBI’s Regional Computer Forensics Lab as a Forensic Examiner. Previously he was assigned to the Department's Office of Media Relations and Public Affairs where he was the Social and Digital Media Manager. Frank has spoke at several industry conferences and major universities on the topics of social media and content strategy.

Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows was a sworn police officer for 25 years with experience in front line operations, primary response, traffic, detective operations, and supervision. He has training in a broad spectrum of policing responsibilities including IMS, Emergency Management, computer assisted technology investigations, leadership, community policing, and crisis communications. Tim left policing but has remained involved through consulting with law enforcement on the advancement of communications and social media. Tim runs #CopChat on Wednesday nights at 9pm ET, to allow police and community members to connect and break down barriers. To learn more about him you can follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook or click here to contact him http://bit.ly/ContactTimBurrows

Guest Blogger

The Social Media Beat periodically features guest bloggers who share their perspective on the topic of social media and law enforcement. These individuals are law enforcement professionals; sworn and civilian personnel from agencies of all types and sizes throughout the world. If you are interested in guest blogging, please send your request to socialmedia@theiacp.org. All bloggers must be affiliated with a law enforcement agency or educational institution. We cannot accept blog entries from vendors or others working in a for-profit capacity.

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