Leah’s Weekly Round-Up // December 27, 2012

Happy Holidays! I hope you enjoyed a lovely time with family, friends and loved ones.

Get your bookmark tab ready for the following links, they’re good ones.

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One of my favorite bloggers, Sarah Von Bargen from yesandyes.org has a business blog, and her link round up is stellar. The next link comes from her most recent post.

Social media marketing explained in 61 words. David Meerman Scott is one of my favorite business people. His website is a gold mine of information for marketers.

Want to know what your first tweet was? Now you can download all of your tweets. If you’re one of the chosen few, you can get started. I will surely be downloading all of my (almost 50,000) tweets.

Ready to make the next big career move, but need to quit your current job? Here is a good guide on how to do that.

4 Steps to Effective Leadership – Would you believe that being a good delegator is on this list? It is, and rightfully so! Delegating tasks to is most definitely a sign of an effective leader.

Interesting opinions on Twitter works and how Amber Naslund is using it. I do believe in using lists on Twitter, but I don’t agree with her point about the only reason you should follow someone is to give them access to private message you. Thoughts?

Any professional should know these – 25 things young professionals must know before 25.

There you have it! Our second edition of the Weekly Round-Up! Anything I should be keeping my eyes open for to share? 

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Introducing: Leah’s Weekly Round-Up

I read a lot of blogs and find a lot of interesting things on the internet. Starting today, I will dedicate a post each week to the interesting and helpful things I find.

The theme will be similar to that of my blog: marketing, communications, PR and social media. I’ll also include links to job boards, if you are on the hunt for your next great move.

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Arik Hanson shares 13 REAL Chrome extensions community managers will find useful. I file this under “save for future reference”. Very interesting and great information, especially to those managing a brand’s social identities.

MIMA is hosting an event on January 16, 2013 called “Iteractive innovation in highly regulated industries”. I’ll be attending this, and it will definitely be an opportunity to network and learn.

Lisa Grimm‘s blog is one of the first I followed, and this post hit home. Last Friday, after the horrible scenes in Newtown, CT, the first thing I hated seeing was brands posting about their sales and products. Lisa says it perfectly in her post, How Brands Should Behave on Social Media During a Tragedy. 

From Yahoo! Finance – The 10 Skills That Will Get You Hired In 2013. With the importance of networking, I was surprised not to see that topic covered.

AdFed’s job board is always a great place to look for jobs and internships in the marketing/advertising/creative field.

There you have it! The first edition of Leah’s Weekly Round-Up. Are they any great marketing/PR/social media blogs you love and find useful that I should know about? Share in the comments! 

Communications and Law Enforcement

I’ve been meaning to write a post for a long time about my experiences as an intern with a local law enforcement agency. I could write about how I obtained this internship, how I am the first intern in the public information office at this agency, and what I’ve learned in my six weeks there so far. But the most important part in all of it is how my views have been shaped, and how the passion in me has been ignited.

I wrote a blog post in 2011 about my dream job.  The thing about me is that I am pretty indecisive, especially when it comes to a career and what I want to do for the rest of my life. But for some reason, all of the stars are aligning and I found a passion. I want to share some observations about communications and law enforcement.

Please keep in mind that these are my personal opinions and do not reflect the opinions of the law enforcement agency I am interning for. 

Here’s the thing about law enforcement and communications: in general, agencies are behind the times.

Think about it.

Our general society spends how much of their time with their smart phone or on the internet? How do most Americans get their news? If you watch the news on TV, what are the most typical stories about?

The short answer is this: our society has become increasingly dependent on instant gratification and consistent updates about what is going on in the world.

But what if the law enforcement agency becomes their own source of information?

In today’s world, I can find out about a critical incident that has occurred through Facebook, because someone that listens to the police scanner is sharing what they’re hearing. From a marketing standpoint, this is how a police department is a brand. You have an image, and how your image is portrayed, well, that’s your brand.

As part of my internship, I did a ride along with an officer last week. It was an epiphany for me, mostly because it reminded me that it isn’t always butterflies and unicorns but rather police officers deal with things on a daily basis that most of us cannot fathom. My ride along was what the officer called “pretty intense”. Long story short, it involved a chase searching for the suspect. By the time I got home at 10pm from my ride along, I already had someone ask me if I heard about the incident. Sure enough, I open Facebook to see this:

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In a matter of 15 minutes, these people listening to the scanner are relaying the information they’re hearing. Now, I am not saying there is anything wrong with this. What I am saying is, what if the police department owns this information? What if the police department had a way to officially share the information?

Seattle Police Department is doing just that. They recently instituted something called Tweets by Beat.

They are setting the precedence for law enforcement agencies across the country. How?

By sharing information. By being transparent with their community. By connecting with their community.

Connecting with your community

Police departments, in general, are moving towards community policing. This means they are one with the community. They support partnerships with community members and business owners. Instead of being looked at like the “bad guys”, they are there to help you. They are walking the streets of your community, building relationships and in turn, working to reduce crime. They’re being proactive, instead of reactive.

Something as simple as publishing a weekly police blotter, that provides a review of police calls that were responded to, if a citizen chooses sign up for it. Providing a real-time map of crimes in your neighborhood. Encouraging citizens to utilize an anonymous service to share concerns about things you see happening in your neighborhood. Creating an app that allows citizens to share information with you, so you can better serve them.

The bottom line is this: communication is important.

And on top of that, it is a two-way street. If you want the community to communicate with you, you need to communicate with them. As a law enforcement agency, your duty is to protect and serve.

As I complete my internship with this well-respected law enforcement agency and move towards focusing on a career in law enforcement communications, I realize how important it is for agencies to own their message and be authentic.

I have found a passion in observing, studying and talking about this small, but very important, piece of this field. As I continue on my career path, I hope to turn this passion into something that can help law enforcement agencies understand how important it is to communicate.