Chances are, you’ve seen the video the Dover Police Department of Delaware released in early 2015 featuring Master Corporal Jeff Davis singing and dancing along to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.”
The video has more than 30 million views on YouTube and the Dover Police Department received a considerable amount of positive media attention, while helping police around the world better engage with their communities.
We had a chance to speak with Master Corporal Jeff Davis, Corporal Mark Hoffman, and Lieutenant Jason Pires of the Dover Police Department about their department’s experiences with social media.
Before the video was released, the Dover Police Department considered their social media efforts a success in several areas, from the easily measurable (more arrests, reduction in crime, etc.) to the less measurable, but just as important (improved community relations, easier communication with the public, etc.).
The insights shared by the Dover Police can easily be applied not only to other police departments, but to other government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and businesses.
1. Tell your own story
Corporal Hoffman said before using social media, the department really had to rely on others to tell their story, which normally means the drug bust makes headlines while officers mentoring students didn’t.
With social media, the Dover Police Department is able to share about both their successes in making arrests and their work in helping the community.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Whether you’re looking for a suspect or trying to get the word out about dangerous road conditions, it’s ok to ask your social media friends to help.
3. Transparency is a good thing
Don’t be afraid to let the public see you and your organization as you are.
Look beyond your own industry and organization for inspiration, try new and different things, you never know what’s going to connect with the public.