|The Police cross a social media line|
Photo: Simon Howden
Interestingly, Twitter has recently crossed the barrier of casual, private life and joined Facebook as a tool used by the police and prosecution courts worldwide.
West Midlands police ran a "tweet-a-thon" on Tuesday, posting live updates from a magistrate’s court as a motley cast of alleged shoplifters, brawlers and criminals made their way through the lower chambers of the British legal system.
For 24 hours, press officers from the Midlands police diligently posted sentences and pithy updates squeezing each one into Twitter’s 140 character limit.
I think the initiative, which has stirred up some controversy, is one of the best PR moves the West Midlands Police Force has made in years. It provides people with the opportunity to peep through the key hole of the system. Furthermore, it proves that the local bobby has joined the 21st century and is making full use of social media.
The Tweet-a-thon has increased the profile of the Police and improved their image... and there is a lesson here to be learned here by engineering PR folk. If you want to raise journalist’s interest and improve your external communications, try to put social media outlets to good use; the return on this investment could be greater than you expect.
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