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Branding: How Police Are Using Social Media Better Than Many Companies

Robin Wilson | The Opposite Direction

I was lucky enough to attend a great event on Friday: the Don’t Panic Social Media Conference in Manchester. There were some top speakers including Tom Murphy from Microsoft, Meg Pickard from the Guardian Online and Simon Wakeman from Medway Council.

The highlight though, came from a completely unexpected source: The West Midlands Police [WMP]. [Check out the website even if you don’t live any where near the Midlands].

When Chief Inspector Mark Payne took the stage, there were a few puzzled looks [and probably a few guilty ones too]. Even I thought ‘what are the police going to teach me about social media?’ How I was to eat those mis-chosen thoughts.

Chief Inspector Payne was not only informative, but a brilliant presenter – probably one of the best I have seen [I did see Steve Jobs present and I’d say Mark was the complete opposite: humble, self effacing, funny, open; and probably better]. The WMP is a great case study on how to use social media for serious issues and add a bit of humor too.

Firstly, the YouTube channel is great. It covers real crime scene footage, instructional videos and appeals. CI Payne showed us this footage of a raid in Coventry:

Secondly, they’ve got a Facebook Page here that helps them connect with 16-25 year olds – a group of the community the police have traditionally struggled to talk to. The Page works because it is full of useful and entertaining content – it gives info like contact emails and numbers for urgent and non urgent inquiries [I wish Brixton police had this when I lived there]. It has 1300+ Fans, which is more than many brand pages.

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    about 2 years ago


    To achieve customer satisfaction depends on employee customer service behavior. For a company that wants to make money online, to differentiate itself from others, in a competitive service environment is to provide excellent customer service. To provide excellent customer service in a telephone situation is one method, to provide customer service in a face-to-face situation, this could present a challenge. The interaction with your customer will make the difference if they continue doing business with you.

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    over 2 years ago


    I've read on Ryan Deiss site that seniors commonly find themselves with more time on their hands as they get older and love to communicate with friends and family. Computers are a great way to open communication with younger generations. Before you begin to teach, find out if the senior has problems with vision or mobility in his hands. You may need to use a special mouse or increase the size of the screen for him to be able to use the computer with ease.

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    over 5 years ago


    This is a good idea. From a Public Relations perrspective you have to go where the people are and the people are on-line.

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    over 5 years ago


    Hello Everybody,
    I think this is a great way to communicate with the community. By communicating in such away is less thretning to everybody and people can get some great feed back from all walks of life.

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    over 5 years ago


    Interesting way to use social media...I know the local PD where I went to college started doing something like this during my SR year, as a way to better communicate with law enforcement. Communication is so important and it's helpful to do it in a way that reaches your intended target. When the vast majority of people 15-24 have facebook, why not have a facebook site for LE to facilitate communication.

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