The Social Media Beat

The Social Media Beat

Posts Tagged 'Strategy'

Check out all of the posts tagged with 'Strategy' below. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search-form at the sidebar.

We’re All in This Together

It’s a brilliant idea, really. Take any officer in your agency and pose them with an adorable cat or dog from your animal division that’s in need of a home and post the photo on your Facebook page, asking the community to help you get that ani...

Popular tags: ,

The Next Stage in the Evolution of Public Information

Campaigns have been around for a long time, but are usually reserved for politics and commercial advertising.  But campaigns can be very effective in law enforcement to get messages out to those you are trying to address. It’s basic advertis...

10 Places to Find Never-Ending Content

One of the questions I get asked a lot is, “Where do you find content?” I’ve written about this before in different ways as tips or ideas.  No matter where you go for your content, it has to have value to your audience. Making high ...

Popular tags:

Passing the Torch . . . and Keeping it Lit!

I'm continuing with my ongoing theme of transition planning and implementation, since it serves the multiple purposes of: •    Helping me debrief my four years plus in law enforcement social media •    Memori...

Popular tags:

If You “Do Social,” You Need a Strategy

Police departments using social media fall into two broad categories: 1.    Those who use social media to broadcast information. 2.    Those who use social media to broadcast information AND engage with their community b...

From the Streets to The Social Media Beat

It’s a huge honor to have the opportunity to blog for the IACP. This is my first official post so I wanted to start off with a short introductory piece about how I came into my current role.   I was born and raised in the city of Hampton and ...

Popular tags: , ,

Five Feverish Minutes of Damage Control - Lessons Learned

I got hacked.   Here’s the scenario: This is day one for my replacement in Media Relations – I go back to patrol next week after 4 ½ years as PIO, during an era that saw the birth of social media engagement for SMPD. My succe...

Trust, Do You Have It?

In my last blog post on using digital media channels during crisis communications, I discussed the following takeaways: * Tweet early, tweet often, and tweet relevant * Be the source of content and information * Identify and create a hashtag for the ...

Popular tags:

The Mighty QR Code

The mighty QR code? “Burrows has lost his marbles!” Well, that very well might be true but I’m serious…the mighty QR code.  Please tell me anything else in the world of marketing and information sharing that is more mysteriou...

Social Media Integration

According to a 2013 survey completed by the IACP, 95.9% of police departments use social media.  This is an extremely high saturation rate. Of course this number doesn’t necessarily mean each agency is using social media effectively. In most de...

Popular tags:

Managing Events through Social Media – A Two-Sided Example of What Works and What Doesn’t

In May every year, San Mateo hosts an event called Maker Faire that essentially doubles the population and traffic in our city over a weekend. This event for the most part operates like a well-oiled machine. An extraordinarily well-prepared and organized ...

What a Mountain Lion Can Teach Us about Social Media Crisis Communications

On a quiet Tuesday evening in the heart of Silicon Valley, a mountain lion decided to take a stroll through one of our dense residential neighborhoods.  Multiple residents called 9-1-1 to report the sightings of a large cat with a collar.  While...

Reduced Reach: The Decline of Facebook Pages

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 of 2013. He has ex...

Popular tags: ,

What’s in a Hashtag?

Hashtag. A word or phrase with the # sign in front of it that helps those on social media follow trending topics.  The question is, should law enforcement use hashtags?  It’s a debate I’ve heard discussed and have discussed with othe...

Popular tags: ,

Don’t Be “More Human”

Eyes, ears, arms, legs, torso.  Brain, heart, central nervous system, lungs. Senses, emotions, thoughts, voice. I have just described in very basic biological terms the characteristics and make up of a human being. You are a human being. End of st...

Working Together: Creating the Virginia Law Enforcement Social Media Group

In this space, you read volumes of good information from several talented and diverse law enforcement individuals about all the best ways to make social media work for your agency. The only thing better than that is experiencing and learning the inform...

Popular tags:

Transition and Succession Planning for #LESM – Your Community Expects Continuity!

My colleagues and I have spoken extensively in The Social Media Beat about community engagement, the quality of our output, and developing growth internally and externally within our agencies. When I was asked to incorporate public information as a collat...

Popular tags: ,

Marketing Lessons from the Private Sector

I recently attended an event hosted by Twitter and Hootsuite called “Igniting Your Marketing Success on Twitter” (#IgniteMktgSuccess) where experts from both companies gave advice to small and medium-sized business owners on how to best levera...

Back to Boston

This week marks the 118th running of the Boston Marathon and a fine time to reflect upon the lessons learned from the Boston Police Department (BPD) during last year’s tragic bombing. The bloggers of IACP’s Center for Social Media, among other...

Cross Populating Content

Time. It’s something that we all struggle with on a daily basis. The demands of publishing content, creating content, sharing content not to mention what our supervisors, public, and partners need done. Each of us is blessed with twenty-four hours i...

Popular tags: , ,

Is Your Social Media Engagement Too Passive?

This is a question many departments fail to ask themselves. What this question is really trying to find out is if your department is adequately engaged on social media. Does your department allow comments? Do you respond to those comments when appropri...

Popular tags: , ,

Professionalization of the Social Media Manager Role

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 i...

Community Outreach through Social Media: An Agency-Wide Approach

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 t...

Sharing the Reins

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. T...

Popular tags: ,

When You’re Short on Content, Try This…

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 go...

Popular tags: , ,

Make Sure Your Social Media Is Actually Social

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 Tea...

Using Social Media to Go Beyond Recruitment

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-t...

Planning Posts with a Content Calendar

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.&rdquo...

Popular tags:

Social Media Managers - Don’t Forget the Dispatchers

  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 o...

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

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 ...

Building Your Leadership Brand through Twitter

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, the...

Keeping it Real

I recently attended a statewide PIO conference here in the state of Florida.  It amazes me to see how things have changed in a short five years.  Just five years ago, the few of us integrating social media into law enforcement were being looked ...

Popular tags: , ,

Branding the Social Badge

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 me...

Complaints, Complaints – Two Old Kinds of Complaints Providing New Dilemmas in Social Media

I think about complaints as they relate to our law enforcement profession in two different strains – there are the complaints that we hear from the public that challenge us as an agency to do differently, better, or to refer the complainants under c...

Social Media: More than Just a Tool

Does your agency deploy social media as a communication tool used by a select few or is it a philosophy that is embraced in your organization from the top down?  As a tool, there’s no question social media has become a “game changing&rdqu...

The Grammar Police

Law enforcement’s need for proper spelling and grammar is emphasized in police mandated training, the field training officer program, and through continued observation and corrective action taken by supervisors on reports.  Most departments eve...

Multiple “Tweeters” vs. Single Agency Source – An Alternate Plan to Accommodate Varied Content

I had originally intended to describe the following plan as part of my goals for 2014, following the current Social Media Beat trend of New Year’s posts. I was then inspired by Dionne Waugh’s blog post about multiple agency “tweeters&rdq...

Notifying Wanted Persons via Social Media

We’ve all seen the “Most Wanted Posters” in our guardrooms, the post office (do they still do that?), on our in-car data terminals and on our agency websites and with the growth of social media we also get to see them on Facebook, Twitte...

The Numbers Trap

When it comes to growing social media channels, it’s easy to get drawn in and focus on Twitter “follower” or Facebook “like” numbers.  If your followers increase, it must mean people like you. If they decrease or remain ...

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Reflecting on the past year of law enforcement and social media use to me shows a tremendous amount of growth, creativity, and partnerships, not just for Richmond Police, but also for agencies across the country and the world. More agencies are inspire...

Creating Videos in the Palm of Your Hand

At the recent IACP Conference in Philadelphia, 16 social media classes on a wide variety of topics were offered.  There were several sessions which specifically addressed using video and the topic came up during discussion time at several other sessi...

Flexible-Platform Media Messaging – If “Everything IS a Press Release,” Consider Using “Everything AS a Press Release”

Last week our IACP PIO Working Group received a request for assistance from a large agency in the southeast United States. This agency uses a standard process for releasing formalized “Press Releases” and posts them on a “News Room&rdquo...

Using Instagram to Increase Your LESM Presence

Sgt. Jay O’Neill is one of two Public Information Officers for the Glendale, Arizona, Police Department.  A relative newcomer to the law enforcement public information sector, Sgt. O’Neill has led the Glendale Police Department in embraci...

To Be the Best, It Needs to be a Team Effort

Most police agencies that are using social media these days have likely designated one person to do the job, and likely for good reasons such as limited resources, skill level, and interest in the work. But several recent experiences have taught me tha...

Popular tags:

The Best Social Media Police Account

Look at Twitter or Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram long enough and it will become quite clear that there is a major difference between the best police/law enforcement social media players and the rest. Listen to the circles enough and very quickly you...

IACP 2013 PIO Track Summary

Attendees of the 120th IACP convention descended on Philadelphia last month to take part in high caliber training, roundtable discussions, and incredible networking opportunities.  Set at the Philadelphia Convention Center, in the heart of downtown P...

Use of Force in the Digital Age

Today’s post is the tenth in a series of blog posts highlighting IACP 2013 social media workshops. This post is about the Use of Force in the Digital Age session on Wednesday, October 23. The last day of IACP 2013 included one of the most well at...

Improving Your Agency’s Brand, Online Persona, and Engagement with Your Community

Today’s post is the ninth in a series of blog posts highlighting IACP 2013 social media workshops. This post is about the Social Media 2.0: Improving Your Agency’s Brand, Online Persona, and Engagement with Your Community session on Sunday, Oc...

The 411 on Social Media: Tools and Tactics for Successful Conversations

Today’s post is the sixth in a series of blog posts highlighting IACP 2013 social media workshops. This post is about the 411 on Social Media: Tools and Tactics for Successful Conversations session on Saturday, October 19. This session was led by...

Advice from Chiefs Who Use Social Media

Today’s post is the fifth in a series of blog posts highlighting IACP 2013 social media workshops. This post is about the Chiefs Who Tweet (or Pin, or Post) workshop on Tuesday, October 22. For Kansas City, Missouri, Police Chief Darryl Forte and...

The Boston Terrorist Attack and the Use of Social Media

Today’s post is the fourth in a series of blog posts highlighting IACP 2013 social media workshops. This post is about the Case Study – Boston: Leading Social Media in Crisis session on Monday, October 21. In light of the Boston Marathon bo...

Messaging and Relationships

Today’s post is the third in a series of blog posts highlighting IACP 2013 social media workshops. This post is about The Formula of Messaging, the Skill of Relationships workshop on October 19. This workshop kicked off the Public Information Off...

Popular tags:

Taking Your Message to the Next Level

Today’s post is the second in a series of blog posts highlighting IACP 2013 social media workshops. This post is about the Taking Your Message to the Next Level: Advanced Social Media session on Sunday, October 20. Boise, Idaho; Boca Raton, Flori...

Giving Your Community What They Want vs. What They Need

It’s an age-old question: Do you give the people want they want to see or what they need to know?And it’s the question several of us who run our police agency’s social media sites also ponder. Do we post information about crimes, which are usually scary, ...

Your Department “Brand” and the Role it Plays in Your Department Messaging

The American Marketing Association defines “brand” as a "name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers."1  While none of us have products that we &ldq...

Managing the Message That Delivers Your Message

Let's discuss: I write this realizing that every agency has their own style and identity – This article is about how we do it @SanMateoPD - please feel free to comment and talk about your agency’s philosophy! Some time ago, I set up my Chie...

Popular tags: ,

Is Your “Voice” Coming Through on Social Media? - Using Social Media to Build Confidence and Trust

We do a lot of writing and talking about great new techniques and strategies for social media, all of which are absolutely valuable. We need to learn about the opportunities available through new platforms or new strategies for social media platforms alre...

Creating Content for Recruiting

Social media is a great way to communicate with and engage the public, but it is also a stellar recruiting tool.  Generating social media content around recruitment can – and should - go beyond merely posting job announcements, exam dates, and ...

Popular tags: ,

Getting on Board with Social Media

Policing and law enforcement agencies are a dynamic mix of the old and new.  Old personnel, new personnel. Old thinking, new thinking.  Old techniques, new techniques. Old technology, new technology.  I’ve always found it quite funny ...

Organizing Your Social Media Strategy

At a recent meeting of our Bay Area Law Enforcement Social Media Group (#BALESMG), I was pleased to see a nice mix of experienced LESM users, energized recently-started  users, and brand-new users just beginning their adventure in social media. I hav...

Popular tags: , ,

Bringing Social Media Home – To Your Website

Home is where the heart is.  There’s no place like home. Our Internet home is our agency’s website, and as we are so often busy with looking at the newest or shiniest tool in our social media toolbox, here’s a thought - stop ever...

What’s New in YouTube Channels

Fall asleep at the wheel of your social media campaign, and when you wake up you’ll find stuff has changed. Such is the case with YouTube, which – as you may or may not know, depending on your sleep pattern – changed its channel layout e...

Popular tags: ,

Social Media Workshops at IACP 2013

Social media has been one of the “hot” topics within the IACP for the last few years. This has been reflected in the number of social media-related workshops at IACP’s annual conference (and the attendance at those sessions).  IACP ...

Value

Delivering information that is rich in value must be something that we all strive to do during our interactions on social media.  The more value we can deliver, the greater benefit that we can expect to be derived by our audience.   What is V...

Anatomy of a Viral Post

For all of those who use social media, you dream of the post, story, photo, or video that goes viral and reaches an audience beyond your expectation.  In law enforcement circles, a viral post can bring attention to your social media channel and add f...

Custom Facebook Tabs for Police Recruitment (and other stuff)

I have to confess … I’ve been neglecting Facebook. Ever since the last overhaul with the timeline and the cover photos, I’ve just fallen behind. Thanks to an inquiry from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, I’m turning to Fa...

Popular tags: , ,

How to Continue Your Social Media Momentum

Though law enforcement agencies across the world are at a variety of stages when it comes to social media use, those of us who have been doing this for a while now may be wondering what we should be doing next. My colleague at Boca Raton Police, Mark E...

Five Analytics That Matter

How many of you have received the e-mail or direct message that was trying to sell you on understanding analytics or that promised you a tool that could measure your social program in a way that no other tool could ever do! You may have even been told ...

Law Enforcement’s Use of Social Media and the Perception of Rising Crime

About the author: Lieutenant Chris Hsiung is assigned to Special Operations and is the social media manager in charge of strategy, community engagement and growth through the police department social media channels. Chris has been serving the Mountain Vi...

Pure-Form LE Social Networking – Inter-Agency Coordination and Collaboration, and #BALESMG

We are likely to all agree that with the complete facelift created by social media over the last few years, the profile of the law enforcement PIO has changed dramatically. In addition to our standard, garden variety press releases, many of us now blog, m...

My Go-To Monitoring Tool

There are about as many tools out there to monitor social media platforms as there are social media platforms.  The reason that they exist is reflective of the importance that monitoring plays in brand and reputation management. Monitoring tools a...

Public Safety Isn't Just Cops: An Interview with James Garrow

A few days ago, a friend of mine (and super-duper public health social media guy), Jim Garrow, wrote a post on his blog about the importance of posting regularly. His ideas really resonated with me and I reached out to him so he could share his ideas with...

Popular tags: ,

Posting Incident Scene Photos on Social Media: A Word of Caution

Most law enforcement agencies prohibit their staff from taking photos at accident scenes, crime scenes, and other incidents and posting them on their personal social media sites.  This is certainly a best practice and can prevent embarrassing situati...

Overcoming and Avoiding Internal Crisis Communication Events

Most often when we think of crisis communications we immediately consider the impact of third party external factors that contribute to the crisis.  Those are the events or situations that develop beyond our control that, in turn, require swift and a...

In Case You Missed It…

One of the challenges of working in the social media realm is that it is constantly evolving – new platforms become popular, new functions are added, and new terms are coined. In the last few weeks, there have been several big changes to the most po...

Expanding the Reach of Your Blog

An often overlooked part of blogging is the picture.  More people interact with posts that contain engaging pictures.  They can grab the reader’s attention and get them to read something they may have otherwise passed right by. While pi...

Popular tags: ,

Integrating Video into Your Department's Social Media Efforts

I recently participated in a training sponsored by the IACP’s web technologies partner, Matrix Group International on “Getting Started with Web Video and Tips for Shooting Your Own Video.” The IACP doesn’t do much in the way of ...

Crisis Communications in the Digital Era - Part I

Part I – The Internal Created Crisis “Bury the story.” “Put out a good news story.” “No comment.” “Wait until tomorrow, it will die all on its own.” Thirty years ago, these were simple ways ...

A Sheriff's Office Experience of Getting Up to Speed on the Social Media Highway

This guest blog comes from Rebecca Rosenblatt of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office. Deputy Rosenblatt has been in law enforcement for the past eight years. She previously worked in patrol as a K9 handler for the Millbrae Police Department until the de...

Digital Success is Built on Human Relationships

We often find ourselves giving up something we love.  I find myself in that position right now, leaving a job I feel passionately about to the next step in my career.  As I write this, I just spent the first day training my replacement.  In...

Social Media Team – Law Enforcement’s Next Specialty Team

This guest blog comes from Laura McElroy of the Tampa, Florida, Police Department. During her nine years with the department, Laura has strengthened community relations by developing a proactive approach to the public information office.  Her team ut...

There’s No One Size Fits All for LEO Social Media Apps

One of the most common questions we receive as social media gurus/nerds at police departments is: What applications do you use to manage it all? Just as we explain that there’s no one way for police agencies to use different social media sites, ...

Developing Key Messages

Today’s guest post comes from Sergeant Dave Norris who has been with the San Mateo, California, Police Department since 1993. After serving in a variety of positions including Field Training Officer, Narcotics and Vice, and Investigations, he is cur...

With a Little Help From My Friends: Social Social Media Management

The repeat use of the word “social” in the title is not a typo. Today, we are discussing a new resource to help social media managers connect with like-minded professionals for advice and mentorship. The IACP, under the auspices of its Disc...

Popular tags: ,

Social Media Response to Crimes in Progress

The use of social media by law enforcement has grown exponentially over the last several years.  Overall, that growth has been beneficial for most agencies.  In fact, agencies have benefited by improving their interactions with the community, ed...

Popular tags: ,

What Is Your Mission?

Have you ever tried to fit the pieces of your communications plan into a social media sized box? It can be a challenge to say the least. Crafting a meaningful and coherent message in 140 characters or less is not a job for the faint of heart. Having a mis...

Popular tags:

Does your target audience really see your message?

One of the main purposes we in law enforcement use social media is to engage our community. Residents, businesses and those that come here to visit our restaurants and retail areas. But sometimes we stop and ask, are those people really getting the messag...

Big, Open, Social Data and the Potential for Collective Problem Solving

The phrases “big data” and “open data” are everywhere these days. So too are online challenges and contests to solve civic problems through technology. Could just be me, because I’m interested in these topics, but they sure s...

Maximizing the Number of People Who See Your Facebook Posts

Today's post comes from Chris Hsiung, a lieutenant with the Mountain View Police Department and the social media manager in charge of community engagement and growth through the police department's social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pi...

Incident Updates via Social Media: Asset or Liability

As law enforcements use of social media grows, the public’s thirst for more information continues to rise exponentially. Not only does the public want more information, they also want it right now. When should police departments provide information ...

Creating Your Social Media Presence from Scratch - Part 2

Today’s guest post comes from Sergeant Dave Norris who has been with the San Mateo, California, Police Department since 1993. After serving in a variety of positions including Field Training Officer, Narcotics and Vice, and Investigations, he is cur...

Creating Your Social Media Presence from Scratch - Part 1

Today’s guest post comes from Sergeant Dave Norris who has been with the San Mateo, California, Police Department since 1993. After serving in a variety of positions including Field Training Officer, Narcotics and Vice, and Investigations, he is cur...

Beyond Sworn and Civilian in Social Media

When it comes to law enforcement, most of us are divided into the sworn and civilian categories. But when it comes to social media, there’s another title that those of us who do the work should consider: community manager. After reading this arti...

Community Policing and Confronting Violent Extremism

As we frequently discuss on The Social Media Beat, social media is a key component to a modern community policing strategy. It comes as no surprise that social media is also actively used for criminal purposes and this technology is frequently used in cri...

Broaden Your Content - Broaden Your Audience

Know anyone who always seems to talk about the same ‘ole thing? And have you ever avoided that person because that’s not what you felt like discussing? How about a politician who only promotes one issue, so when other issues are discussed, tha...

The Forgotten Social Media

There is no doubt that we are getting better at using social media as a tool to assist our agencies with messaging, safety information, community building, and general conversations. Many investigations have been assisted and commenced by using tools like...

Don't Blindside Your PIO

Law enforcement’s use of social media is an evolving phenomenon. As it began, the responsibility for posting information and monitoring typically resided with the personnel assigned to Community Outreach or Public Relations. Over the last several ye...

Popular tags:

We Tweet Better Than You...

I constantly hear about what different agencies are doing with their social media.  Some tweet their daily call logs, some have tweet-ups, others do live tweets while driving around with officers. Others hold town meetings on Skype, or put out the jo...

Popular tags:

What's Your Social Media Voice?

Social media is a unique form of “business communication.”  It is decidedly more personal and less formal than more traditional forms.  Posts that read like an official press release or a memo tend to fall flat. The “just the f...

Popular tags:

Social Media Should Be Social

I became a police officer for several reasons. I wanted to follow in my grandfather's foot steps, I wanted the excitement, I wanted to help people. I never imagined, not in a million years, I would find myself writing a blog post for the IACP while workin...

Looking Back/Looking Forward

A lot has happened this past year when it comes to law enforcement and social media, and the experience for Richmond Police has been no different. We’ve used various social networking platforms to solve crimes; communicate better with our communi...

Just Click "Like"

As most of us know by now, Facebook is regularly making changes to how the site works and where your content shows up. By the time you figure something out, something else has changed. Well, we’ve recently discovered one change that has turned ou...

Black Friday Tweetathon

Black Friday in most communities is a pretty busy day for police agencies. It is especially busy if the community has a lot of retail establishments or a mall. Dunwoody has both. To chronicle this typically busy day, the Dunwoody Police Department decided...

Popular tags: ,

Buckling Up Could Save Your Giblets! (Stolen from the best!)

Okay, not really stolen, but borrowed with the best of intentions. If you’re not using TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov, you’re missing out on a fantastic resource for free, relevant, timely social media content. Most importantly, the site gives us ...

The Most Important Analytic to Measure Your Reach

How do you know if you are having an impact with your social media efforts? There are multiple ways to measure what you are doing from the simplistic to advanced means. The platforms you are using will provide some insight into your efforts and there are ...

How Social Media Continue to Grow as Main Channel of Communication

Last blog, I wrote about the presentation at IACP 2012 given by Tampa Police PIO Laura McElroy. Tampa hosted the 2012 RNC and social media played a huge role in the way the police department responded and reacted to incidents. Well, here in Boca Raton w...

E-mail, E-commerce, and Police

Lately I’ve been wondering if police departments – or their governing jurisdictions – should be more like e-marketers in their quest to connect with and solicit feedback from citizens.  Think about it – every time you order so...

How to Spot a Troll

Today's guest blog post comes from Corporal Frank Domizio. He has been with the Philadelphia Police Department for 16 years and is currently assigned to the Department's Office of Media Relations and Public Affairs where he is the Social Media C...

Expand Your Social Media Content

Whether your department is a veteran user of social media or has just taken the plunge, the one aspect of using social media that many struggle with is content. This can be an especially difficult challenge when you are just starting out. One might think,...

Who Has Time for All This Social Media Stuff?

Who has the time for all this social media stuff? That’s one of the most frequently asked questions we get as law enforcement social media enthusiasts.  Though there are many ways and apps you can use to save time, there’s actually one...

Capturing Attention

In today’s world everything we say and everything we do is built around faster, better, smaller, more efficient, and easy. We want meals that are quicker to make, cars that go farther on a gallon of gas and computers that are small and light. To ...

Popular tags: , , ,

No Better Time to Advocate & Educate for the Safety of Our Officers

Scrolling down the news feed on my personal Facebook page last night, I saw a post from a friend who works for a police agency in Alaska. She had shared a post on the death this week of Nassau County, New York, Police Officer Arthur Lopez tragically and s...

IACP Conference Workshop: Meet the Bloggers

For the second year in a row, the IACP Conference has featured a "Meet the Bloggers" workshop. It was impressive to see such a well-attended, early morning (and post Host Chief's Night) session!  This session provided an opportunity for audience memb...

Popular tags: , , ,

IACP Conference Workshop: Measuring the Return on Your Social Media Presence

Today's guest blog post comes from Dave Roberts, Senior Program Manager for the International Association of Chiefs of Police Technology Center. Mr. Roberts has served as director of a variety of federally-funded justice IT and research projects, and is a...

IACP Conference Workshop: Case Study: Republican National Convention Tampa, Managing the Media

In my last blog I wrote about how social media is changing the way we respond to large scale events as PIOs. My example was how it was used at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in September. I had the opportunity to help out the Tampa Police Dep...

Re-Cap #IACP2012 – Social Media: Challenges and Opportunities

Have you ever been to a conference and left disappointed because you just didn’t find the information you were hoping for? Have you ever felt empty because you took time to attend a session based on the description of it and it just didn’t del...

IACP Conference Workshop: If You Are Going to Use Social Media, Make it Worth Your Time

This session at the IACP Conference was one that I was really looking forward to. As a chief, I am all about engaging in activity that adds value to the organization. rather than wasting the time of my staff. A large audience was in attendance. Lynn Hight...

Free Can Come with a Hefty Price Tag

I remember when I first started using social media to promote a new way of communication for police and law enforcement agencies I would often say, “What’s not to like about it…it’s free!” Nothing has changed about that i...

Tampa Police Department and the RNC – How Planning, Consistency, and “Owning Social Media” Paid Off in Much More than Good PR

You’ve heard the saying, “You create your own luck.” Tampa Police Department (TPD) spent months training and planning, on paper and in the field, for an event held once every four years and historically marked by conflict – a natio...

So I'm Too Old to do Social Media Well, Huh?

So I'm too old to do social media well, huh? That seems to be the real headline to this article by a young woman who believes—very misguidedly—that only people under age 25 should manage social media sites. Wow. Beyond how insulting it i...

Popular tags:

Removing Offensive Posts and Blocking Those Who Post Offensive Comments

One of the best values for law enforcement agencies who use social media is the interaction that takes place between the agency and members of the community. Unfortunately, many agencies that use social media platforms, like Facebook, have opted to not al...

Expecting the Unexpected: Social Media in Large Scale Events

This past week I had the opportunity to help the Tampa Police Department during the Republican National Convention. PIO Laura McElroy, who will present at IACP 2012 about how she planned for this event, had a terrific plan and team in place. She had every...

Are Police Creative – or Gutsy – Enough to Capitalize on Internet Meme (and Should They)?

Two of my favorite Internet sensations of late are Call Me Maybe videos and McKayla is Not Impressed photoshopped images. Near as I can tell, law enforcement has failed to jump on either bandwagon. Maybe I’m the only one who sees the potential&helli...

Twitter Rumors: Notifications Help Control

It’s been said, “News breaks on Twitter." But what if the ‘news’ is wrong? It was last Saturday morning. The first Saturday in several weeks I wasn’t out of town or at a family function. Because I was playing with sprinkle...

Keeping Up With Changes

It seems like almost every day something is changing in the world of social media. There’s a new networking site, a new app or, even more challenging, suddenly new settings on the sites you feel you finally have a solid grasp on. One of the best wa...

How Much Time Do You REALLY Spend On Your Agency's Social Media?

This is probably one of the most asked questions I get when making presentations around the country at conferences. And the answer I give is always very vague: “It depends.”   The reason it depends is because on any given day it could ...

Is an App Right for Your Department?

By some estimates, 49.7% of people in the United States have a smartphone and by 2014, that number could rise to over 70%. As a result of the proliferation of smartphones, the app market has exploded. Consumers would rather click on an app on their phone ...

Social Media Chess

Admittedly, I am not a very good chess player in the conventional definition of the game. I know what the pieces can do. I know that you have to play several moves ahead in your mind and consider what the ramifications of your moves will be on your oppone...

Popular tags: , ,

Top Five Myths About Managing Social Media

No bona fide blog would be complete without the occasional obligatory “top five list” or “mythbusters” post. So let’s just knock both out right here. Below are some common mythological laments from police administrators resis...

Popular tags:

Transparency Part II: Why We Can't Always Be Transparent. Thanks to Social Networking, We Can, and People Get It!

I’m going to start with something that you may have read recently: “Transparency does not involve divulging privileged information. Instead, being transparent means empowering citizens with information so they can understand, appreciate, an...

Using Social Media to Engage Officers' Families and Fellow Officers

One of the neatest – and most surprising – things to come from the Richmond Police Department's use social media is the boost in employee morale and camaraderie as well as the increased engagement with officers' families. To explain, I thin...

Transparency: Law Enforcement's Best Friend

In years past, many police departments operated in almost complete secrecy. The community knew very little about what the department was doing except in the most extreme cases involving terrible tragedies. The culture of law enforcement perpetuated this b...

Is There an ROI for Law Enforcement and Social Media?

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 f...

Wiki-PD-a: Police Departments and the 5th Most Popular Site on the Web

You can't control everything that is written on the Web about your department, but you can influence one very important source: Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a free Internet encyclopedia with millions of articles on almost any topic written and maintained by...

Building Your Audience

Have you ever been stuck for a topic to write about? Last week I was trying to come up with a blog post for you and I couldn't decide on the topic. There were several I was considering and every time I got started there was an interruption. First, a tw...

Keeping It Fresh

Today's guest blog post comes from Corinne Geller, public relations director with the Virginia State Police. A former TV news reporter, she joined the state police in 1999 as a field PIO and now oversees statewide media and public relations. She and her t...

The Timing of Content Can Be Crucial

June 1st was National Doughnut Day. As a blogger and reader of blogs on this site, I read the piece from Officer Mike McCoy of Houston PD a few weeks ago on the power of using humor - appropriate humor - as an effective way to humanize our agencies thr...

Dashboard Management

Facebook. Twitter. YouTube. Pinterest. How do you manage it all? Amazingly, there are several applications, both mobile and desktop, that actually make it quite easy to manage your social media accounts. Two of the most popular are Hootsuite and Twe...

What's Next with Social Media in Law Enforcement

It is very easy to become complacent with social media. Just like a new car or new electronic device, you want to try it out when you first get it but after a while it becomes routine. Social media is getting to that point for many... routine. It's now se...

Under the Hood of New Facebook Pages

The advent of new Facebook Pages brought with it a host of new features plus improvements and changes to existing features. Until recently I had not taken the time to click around the new admin panel to see what's there. What follows is a quick summary of...

Why Do You Use Social Media?

Last week I met with the Public Information Officer (PIO) for a police agency who has been tasked with a new role for his agency. He has now added, "Social Media Manager" to his portfolio. He asked two very important questions. 1.) What can we do with ...

What Content Should Be Posted On Social Media Channels?

This is a question asked often by police chiefs, administrators, PIOs, and others who are charged with the task of either posting information or monitoring the content posted. In addition, many have concerns about liability related to the content posted. ...

Popular tags: ,

The Timing of Posting

Ever wonder what's the best time to post certain items to your Facebook or Twitter pages so that the most people see them? A recent study has come up with some suggestions based on the metrics of several social networking sites. Though I think the real...

Popular tags: , , ,

It's the Little Things - Part 2, Twitter

Earlier this month we talked about the little things you can do on Facebook when it comes to interacting through social media with your community. Now let’s look at Twitter. Twitter has some restrictions when it comes to communication, but that j...

Social Media Education

One of the most important things we do in life is learn. We learn from our mistakes, we learn from the experience of those around us, we learn from experts. We have an incredible capacity for learning and many reasons for doing so. I have never met a s...

Popular tags: ,

Humor in Houston

Today's guest blog post comes from Senior Office Mike McCoy of the Houston, Texas, Police Department (HPD). Mike has been a police officer since 1982, and has worked in recruiting until 2009. Mike created a successful blog (www.hpdblog.com) in 2007 to hel...

It's the Little Things - Part 1, Facebook

Who’s going to monitor it? Are we going to delete comments? Who’s going to post items? What should we post? How often should we post? The questions regarding social media use could go on and on, and we realize it’s quite easy to get o...

Put Me In, Coach: Selecting Your Social Media Team

Some law enforcement agencies choose to assemble a team to take on the responsibility of managing their social media efforts. Chief executives will need to make the ultimate determinations, deciding what works best for their department and their community...

Popular tags:

Use Social Networking to Compliment & Cross-Promote Your Local Media!

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...

Mitigating Organizational Resistance to Using Social Media

Change can be difficult for members of any organization. However, change inside police organizations can be even more stressful and difficult for their staffs. Chief Dan Alexander with the Boca Raton Police Department has said “There are two things ...

Popular tags: ,

Strategy, Timing, Focus, Flexibility, and Execution

What makes one sports team better in the big game than their opponents? Why was the NCAA National Championship Football Game such a blow-out this year when the number one and number two teams met? Strategy, Timing, Focus, Flexibility and Execution N...

Popular tags:

Chatting with Your Community Online

Today's guest blogger post comes from Stephanie Slater, Public Information Officer for the Boynton Beach, Florida, Police Department and the City of Boynton Beach. Stephanie is a frequent speaker about law enforcement's use of social media, and has assist...

Managing Social Media

Last month I was privileged to take part in the IACP Center for Social Media Winter Webinar Series. Fellow blogger Dionne Waugh from the Richmond Police Department and I gave presentations to agencies around the country via the Web. Also last month, I pre...

Social Media Education

I arrived at the FBI Academy for the FBI LEEDS program on Sunday, January 22, 2012. As I looked at the upcoming training scheduled for the program, I was pleasantly surprised to see Nancy Kolb with the IACP scheduled to speak about social media. Nancy spo...

Popular tags: , ,

No Turning Back...

Over the past month or so many of my fellow bloggers have been looking back at the last year and wrote about some of the milestones and changes that took place. Instead of doing the same, I have decided that since we are a couple of weeks into the New Yea...

Popular tags:

2011 A Year in Review

As I look back on our department’s use of social media in 2011, I believe we have come a long way. At the beginning of the year, almost all of the information being posted online was being generated by one person. As a result, timely information was...

The Year in Review

The Richmond Police Department will celebrate three years of social media use as of this month so it’s quite an appropriate time to reflect on the year’s social media efforts, what we’ve learned, and some highlights. We’ve defin...

IACP in Chicago - The Value of Networking

Live streaming news conferences, tweet-alongs, blogging, tweeting during hostage negotiations and active shooter situations, calm yet strong messaging during crisis, making our agencies agency “one-stop-shops” for media with video and sound in...

Popular tags:

My Department Has a Traditional Web Site: Why Use Social Media?

Most law enforcement agencies have a Web site. In fact, many have robust Web sites that are informative, educational, and contain a lot of good information of interest to their communities. If you are one of the people who think simply having a department...

Popular tags:

The Effective Use of Hashtags

Think of hashtags as like the “Google” of Twitter. They’re just a new name for the same meaning of “keyword.” Where Google is the way we search the Internet, hashtags are the way of searching the Twitterverse, or Twitter Univ...

Popular tags: , ,

It's Never too Late to Launch

So, you have a Facebook page, or a Twitter account, or YouTube channel, or some other social media spot for your agency. But it isn’t gaining much traffic. You may have started slow but have built up a solid strategy. Maybe you didn’t promote ...

Mobile Recruitment for Police - Part 3

I really had no intention of writing three consecutive posts on the value of mobile for law enforcement, but the topic just keeps popping up. Or maybe it’s all just more relevant to me now that I too have joined the ranks of smartphone owners and ha...

Popular tags: , ,

IACP 2011 PIO Track Review

This is the second year the IACP annual conference included social media in the PIO Track. Last year in Orlando the response to the couple of social media presentations was overwhelming with standing room only at a couple of classes. One would anticipate ...

How to Respond When Your Department Posts Something That Offends

In my last post, we discussed how to respond when the public posts negative comments on your department’s social media sites. But what happens when the department posts material that is offensive to others? How could this happen? After all, most dep...

Getting Traditional Media to Buy into Your Social Media Activities

I think unless you live in a huge city, like New York or Boston, at least one media outlet would be interested in its local police agency starting to use social media. No matter when you start, the use of social media by a police agency is still considere...

Social Media - Doing It Right

One of the most popular questions we’ll receive from new users of any social media platform is, “What is the right way to do social media?” The first reaction is always to tell people how not to do it. The things to watch out for. The...

Popular tags:

How Should Your Department Respond to Negative Comments?

The question about what to do when negative posts are made on your social media sites is a valid question. Although feared by many law enforcement professionals, negative comments are typically not posted as frequently as expected. However, it is importan...

Breaking News - Stop It!

One of the many benefits that social media has created in everyone’s day-to-day lives is the instantaneous ability to receive and report information. One of the newest trends that I have seen is media agencies using their social media accounts to an...

Tweeting During a Hurricane

Last month, my colleague Mark Economou blogged about the importance of being prepared to respond via social media during a crisis. Not only do we need to be prepared, we need to actually do it because the public expects it and they need it. The more in...

Video: Why You Should Include It Whenever Possible

As we continue to peel back the layers of the onion, we continue to find more and more uses for different aspects of social media. Remember, social media is not just posting updates on Twitter and Facebook. It goes a lot deeper, like posting press relea...

Why Would I Want to Like You or Be Your Friend?

This week I had to go to one of the big box building stores. As I was paying for my purchase the cashier smiled and said, “Make sure you like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.” I said the first thing that came to my mind, “Why?...

Mobile Recruitment for Police - Part 2

We recently blogged about mobile recruitment for police. Googling “police mobile app” will likely get you to an application for the Mobile (AL) Police Department. Truth is, using mobile technologies specifically for recruitment is not tha...

Popular tags: ,

Why Should You Do It? Simple, Unfiltered Messages to Your Residents

This has been touched upon in blogs here by me and fellow bloggers, but thought a more in-depth discussion was due. Recently at one of my social media presentations to law enforcement, many in attendance were not using Facebook or Twitter to communicate. ...

Using Humor with Social Media

A good sense of humor is a valuable commodity in life. This is especially true of police officers. We see people at their worst, committing horrible acts of violence against their fellow man. This can be discouraging to say the least. A good sense of humo...

Interacting with Other Agencies, Both Police and Non, On Social Media

You probably go into using social media to connect or communicate with your community and maybe the media, right? One of the last things you’re probably thinking about is interacting with other agencies, police or otherwise, on social media. I th...

Cross Populating Platforms

I was a little surprised the other day when I went to our neighborhood tennis courts and I got a bunch of strange looks from people. I could tell they were whispering about me and in some cases even laughing at me!! I finally asked someone what the pro...

Popular tags: , ,

Mobile Recruitment for Police - Part 1

Once upon a time, recruitment in the digital age meant creating a Web page or maybe even using an electronic application. Today, it means creating a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Increasingly, it also means going mobile -- using mobile apps, mobile...

Popular tags: , ,

Reputation Management... The Ins and Outs

Managing your reputation begins with putting your best foot forward and the next step is that you have to make sure you are listening to what people are saying. Ensuring that you are there in the social space to address the community concerns, complime...

Social Media is Just Telling a Story with Better Visuals

So you’ve decided to use social media for your agency, whether you want to or not. If it’s hard to wrap your head around everything, just think of it as telling a story… but with better visuals. That’s one of the ways we teach ...

Be Careful What You Tweet... Or Who You Tweet As!

So you are the social media person for your agency. During the day you monitor tweets and Facebook postings. With dashboards like TweetDeck and HootSuite it’s easy to also add multiple accounts. So it comes as no surprise that over the last few mont...

Popular tags: , ,

Follow the Yellow Brick Road. Or Just Click the Button.

Yesterday, Chief Grogan talked about publicizing your agency’s social media efforts. One of the major ways to do this, is to place a social media button on your agency’s main Web page. Recently, Twitter released the Follow button, which lo...

Popular tags: ,

Publicizing Your Department's Use of Social Media

If your department uses social media but no one in your community knows about it, what value are you providing them? The answer is none. In fact, you are just wasting the resources you could use more effectively in other areas. That is why it is extremely...

Popular tags:

Reputation Management... Do You Hear What I Hear?

In the last blog post about reputation management, we talked about you putting your best foot forward by ensuring that you were properly contributing within your social media presence. Managing your words and actions in a manner that let people know where...

Social Media Dashboards: What They Are and How To Use Them

Every day, you probably hear about different terms related to social media. Thankfully, you have the IACP Center for Social Media to help you define what most of these terms are. However, what about the technologies you can use to manage your social me...

Toronto Police Service's Social Media Management

The Toronto Police Service has not been shy about its use of social media or its acceptance as a valid tool for communications, community involvement, and as a portal for the public to reach out and interact with its police service. We have also used it a...

Popular tags: , ,

The Importance of Directed Content for Jobseekers

A recent research report from the Bernard Hodes Group,* a New York-based recruitment marketing firm, offers some good insight into how jobseekers are using social media. The study was conducted during the spring and summer of 2010 and involved nearly 1,00...

Popular tags: ,

Boca Police Department's Social Media Management

One of the top questions I get from agencies around the country exploring the possibility of using social media is how much time does it take? That question usually leads to another, like how many people manage it? Others don't think they have the resourc...

Popular tags: , ,

Social Media Engagement at the Dunwoody Police Department

The Dunwoody Police Department began operations on April 1, 2009. Since that first day, the department has been using social media tools to market our agency, engage our community, and connect more effectively. The department started using Twitter on day ...

Social Media Management in the Richmond Police Department

I would call it a labor of love when it comes to Richmond Police’s social media sites. Why? Because it’s a personal interest of mine that I love being able to use to the department’s advantage and to better inform our community. Thank...

Popular tags: , , ,

Agency Management and Officer Safety

A major responsibility of being a social network author on behalf of a police agency is having the ability to communicate professionally on behalf of the Chief and the entire department. As the Boise Police Department has written in our Social Networking ...

Social Media Management in Your Agency

The IACP Center for Social Media staff has been fortunate enough to travel all over the country to speak with law enforcement personnel about social media. Whether we are in New Jersey or Oregon or one of the many states in between, we hear different vers...

Popular tags: ,

Do You Need to Use A "Dashboard" If You Use Social Media?

Past blogs by me and my blogging colleagues have touched upon using "dashboards" if you use social media. So what are these "dashboards" and how and why should you use them? Simply, they are software programs that you download onto your computer and s...

Popular tags: , ,

The Value of Video

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth? In social media circles, video is priceless. It captures the attention of people in ways a simple photo or story can't do. Although more police departments are using social media platforms lik...

Reputation Management... It Starts With You

I remember my mom always telling me that people will know who you are and what you stand for before they ever meet you. It was her way of introducing me to "reputation." As a parent I know what she was saying all too well as I find myself reminding my chi...

Hosting a Live Chat

If you're interested in trying something new to improve your communication and reputation with your community, consider trying a "live chat." Though the mere thought of it - someone asking any question they want of your command staff officer for all to se...

Using Twitter to Listen and Learn

Of all the social media platforms out there, Twitter can be one of the most confounding, particularly to the uninitiated. 140 character messages? Who cares, right? Well, part of the appeal of Twitter is that it fits nicely with our mobile, on-the-go life...

Social Media as a Crisis Communications Tool - Part 2

Mark Economou from Boca Raton Police Department brought this up last month, but the topic came up here recently as well. To echo Mark's message: make sure social networking is part of any emergency or crisis communications plan. Mark says, fortunately,...

To Follow or Not to Follow...

One of the force multipliers in social media is the "follow" or "like" feature of Facebook and Twitter. The more folks you follow the more that will follow you back. But is this necessary in law enforcement? It's a question that is worth the conversation,...

Tweeting All Calls: One Department's Experiment

On April 8, 2011 starting at 6 a.m. and continuing for 24 straight hours, the Dunwoody Police Department tweeted every single call. This arduous task fell to the day shift Sergeant, Jason Dove and the night shift Sergeant, Jason Witcher. We wanted to ...

Popular tags: ,

A New Voice on The Social Media Beat

In 2008 I accepted the position of Communications and Media Relations Officer for the Traffic Services Unit of the Toronto Police Service. In a meeting with the Unit Commander of Traffic and the Staff Superintendent in charge of Operational Services, whic...

Use Social Media to Add the Visibility to Your High Visibility Enforcement

At Boise PD, we just completed an aggressive driving mobilization. Perhaps your agency did too. NHTSA calls these campaigns "high visibility enforcement," and at BPD, we took full advantage of our social network presence to put more "visibility" into our ...

Popular tags: , ,

Social Media: Is it Working?

In the marketing and retail world, companies are always looking for a ROI, return on investment. The push to tell if social media is giving companies a return on investments is a hot topic. While the exact science of how to measure this is still being dev...

Build Community Relations with Your Facebook Page

Facebook recently launched a "Use Facebook as Page" feature that allows page administrators to assume the identity of their page when interacting with Facebook. This allows you to Like, post, and comment throughout the site as your page. Prior to this cha...

Creating a Social Media Schedule

How much more work is this going to be? That's probably what most people think when they're tasked with creating or running their agency's social media platforms. The answer is really up to you. The more effort you put into your social media sites the ...

Popular tags: , ,

Losing the Social Drive

When anything new comes along and it is popular, everyone wants to try it. For example, a new electronic item or that gadget your saw on a late night infomercial. But with anything new, once the novelty wears off, it's often forgotten. This can easily hap...

Popular tags:

How to Increase Your Twitter Followers: A Simple Plan

You have taken the plunge. You or your department has begun using Twitter. Now what? Of course you can tweet messages all day long but if no one is following you, what benefit is there for you or your community? Here are a few simple ideas to help you gro...

Popular tags: ,

Content Idea - Tip of the Day

Keeping with ideas to help keep your Facebook and Twitter feeds updated, think about sharing the info your community looks to you as experts in - crime prevention and traffic safety. Content Idea #4 - Update your site regularly with a crime or traffic...

Popular tags: ,

Knowledge is Power

Knowledge is power. For the police agency AND the citizen. It's all about what you know, when you know it, and who it's from. At least that's the way it is when it comes to law enforcement using social media. First, you're empowering your community, f...

Social Media as a Crisis Communications Tool

Fortunately, here in Boca Raton, we have not had the need to use social media during a crisis. That's not saying when a crisis does occur we won't use it. But, how it will be used will depend on the nature and severity of the crisis. Social media has prov...

Retweeting: A Force Multiplier

Over the last two years, the use of Twitter has grown exponentially among law enforcement agencies. In most cases, agencies are using Twitter to report on arrests, advertise new programs, and issue community alerts. However, if your agency is not retweeti...

Popular tags: ,

Different Approaches to Social Media

I think one of the biggest deterrents for some law enforcement agencies to use social media is the idea that there's only one right way to do it. That's simply not true. When Richmond Police first started using social media, we started with what we tho...

The Federal Version of Social Media

Here at the IACP Center for Social Media, we believe all agencies are created equal and we can learn something from all different organizations no matter the size or where they are from. Today, we are going to take a look at what agencies and personnel on...

Content Idea - Single Incident, Larger Safety Message

I'm keeping with the theme of my past couple blogs with more ideas to keep your police agency's social networking sites current and relevant... on a day when you have no idea what to post! When you're lacking something local or from your department for...

Popular tags:

Creating Content Solely for Social Media

In the beginning, there were press releases. Then there was posting your press releases online, and now you're posting them on your social media sites. But at some point you need to start creating content specifically for your social media sites. Sure ...

Popular tags: , ,

Law Enforcement Working as Journalists; Why We Need Social Media

It seems like a complete 180, as law enforcement used to try and avoid the media, we now find ourselves becoming the media. When I started my career in broadcast journalism nearly 20 years ago, the relationship with law enforcement was much different t...

Content Idea - Community Connections

Ideally, content on your agency's social network sites comes from something ongoing and timely within your department. But it's not uncommon in agencies large or small, to have a "slow news day". So how do you keep posts on your sites updated and engaging...

The Importance of Daily Posting

Your citizens want to hear from you. Every day. Yes, every day. They'll probably cut you some slack if you don't post on the weekends since they, like most people, don't log on as often during the weekends. But during the week, they want to know what t...

Popular tags:

Social Recruiting in the Land Down Under

This week we'll take a virtual trip to the land down under - to Victoria, Australia - to have a look at some unique uses of social media for recruitment. (To refresh your Aussie geography, the state of Victoria is in the southeast corner of Australia and ...

Content Idea - Follow Public Safety Pages/Sites

What do I post? During almost every conversation I have with someone from a law enforcement agency who's thinking of, or already working on a Facebook page or Twitter account, I hear that same question. It doesn't matter if the agency is large or small; t...

Popular tags:

What Not To Do

One of the great things about social media is that there are very few things not to do, and so many things you can do. You can, and should, try new applications to link your social media sites. You can, and should, use your social media sites to try ne...

Popular tags:

Blogging for Recruitment

Dionne's post got me thinking about the further benefits of sharing insight about your department, particularly recruitment and training efforts. While such activities are a great way to educate and engage with the community, they can also pay dividends i...

Popular tags: , ,

Keeping Your Page Fresh and Your Citizens Engaged

So you've finally decided to take the plunge into social media and it' going well. Now what? It's important once you know what you're doing and feel relatively confident, that you think about what's next. What are your goals now that you've started usi...

140 Characters... What Do You Say?

I have written for most of my professional career. I even minored in broadcast script writing in college. Every day, for 15 years, I had to take some facts and turn them into a 90 second story for the news that evening. I once told students that broadcast...

Popular tags: ,

Engage - Someone just might say, "Thank You"

A couple things happened this week on the Boise PD social network sites that started the new year off right. The first shows the value of interacting with citizens via social networking; the second illustrates how that interaction can lead to something we...

How Much Time?

I get asked all the time, "How much time will this take?" or "I don't have the resources/manpower to do social media." Depending on what you want to achieve, you might already have the resources available. More than likely you can do it with your existing...

Popular tags:

2011 Social Media Resolutions

A new year has arrived, and with that comes the age-old activity of pledging to change in the upcoming twelve months. Hitting the gym, kicking a bad habit, or clearing out junk are typical tasks at the top of people's lists. But with the social media revo...

Consistency of Messaging - Having a Single Social Media Voice

Should different precincts or specialty units within the same agency have separate Facebook pages??? Here in Boise, we don't have the separate precincts, but we do have specialized units like crime prevention, school resource officers, traffic, etc. So...

Popular tags: , ,

Minimizing the Social Media Fear Factor

The two words, social media, have scared a lot of people. For newbies it's totally understandable that social media is intimidating. What those people don't realize is social media is just an extension of what they do every day, communicate. When I ta...

Why It Pays to Write It Out Before You Send It Out… I’m Not Talking About Proofreading.

With all due respect to the English majors out there, these comments don't have anything to do with grammar, punctuation, or spelling. Although important to the professional image of your agency, this isn't about a check for commas, but rather the importa...

Creating Your Twitter Bio

If nothing else, Twitter has taught us the lessons of brevity and clarity, with their 140 character restriction on all our outgoing tweets. For your Twitter bio you are given the added bonus of 20 extra characters, leaving you with 160 characters to tell ...

Popular tags: ,

Marketing Your Police Department: You're Doing it Already!

Any business has to market their company. From retail to pharmaceutical, companies are always trying to show customers they have a great product. In law enforcement the only difference is the terminology, but we are still in the business of marketing. Our...

IACP 2010 Social Media Recap

After an exciting week at the IACP Annual Conference, the Center for Social Media staff has returned home from sunny Orlando, Florida. In addition to launching the IACP Center for Social Media Web site, there were several workshops available throughout th...

Text/HTML

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.

Search this blog

Search

View Posts

By Date

By Author

By Tag

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 is a Sergeant with the Toronto Police - Traffic Services Unit. His primary role is the supervisor for strategic communications and media relations related to traffic issues within the geographical boundaries of Toronto. Tim was appointed to the Traffic Services Communications Office in 2008 with the mandate to raise the profile of traffic issues within the mindset of the general public. In an effort to enhance traffic safety and to control the timing and full scope of messaging, he has developed a targeted information stream using social media to expand the Toronto Police Service span of influence within the Toronto community and beyond with the goal of reducing collisions, injury, and death in Toronto. Using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Blogs, Tim has pushed information about traffic safety to the citizens of Toronto and has opened the lines of communication to allow for collaborative efforts with community groups, road users, and individuals.

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.

Created by Matrix Group International, Inc.