FORT BEND COUNTY, TX – What can a handful of government Public Information Officers, the people responsible for communicating with the public in an emergency, learn from a police officer from Rosenberg Police Department? As it turns out, they could learn a whole lot!
Lieutenant Aaron Slater of the Rosenberg Police Department is one of the several staff members responsible for the international attention received for the department’s social media presence. Slater and the Department use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube as an informal way to reach out to the community and allow the community to communicate with the Police Department. Lieutenant Slater said, “We use social media as a way of policing with the community.” According to Lt. Slater, social media is a great way for the public to ask “soft questions” and get answers, information usually not exchanged due to a reluctance to contact the police through more traditional channels.
Through the efforts expended on their Facebook page and other sites, Rosenberg has developed positive relationships with citizens in the city and as far away as Australia.
At the bi-monthly meeting on June 6, the Fort Bend PIO Network hosted Lt. Slater so he could show how they’ve found such success. Tips like “use humor,” and “Your success doesn’t rely on [the size of your department], but the soul you put into your posts,” were things some attendees had not considered seriously before. Other advice, like encouraging engagement, may have been shared before, but was reinforced by their great success.
Lt. Slater’s presentation was so compelling that the group went past their normally allotted time of 8:30-10:00 A.M. with questions, discussion, and real-life examples.
“We’re so thrilled to have great speakers like this at our bi-monthly meetings,” remarked Beth Wolf, Community relations Manager for the Office of the County Judge in Fort Bend County, “we always try to get good quality presentations here. It’s important that we spend this time wisely, investing in our group’s knowledge and networking!”
Fort Bend County is located in the Texas Southeast, immediately South and West of Harris County and the city of Houston. It is the home of over 600,000 people and is one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. For more information about Fort Bend County, visit the county homepage at http://www.fortbendcountytx.gov.
The Fort Bend PIO Network is an open community networking group established to provide a collaborative communications network in Fort Bend County in order to provide residents, guests, and our local, regional, state, and national partners with information. For more information, please visit http://www.fbcoem.org/go/doctype/1528/30031/ or contact Beth Wolf email@example.com
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