In this series of conversations about you I have an opportunity to help bring these connections to the fore. I'm collecting the links to the conversations back on the about you page, so you can reference not just the comments, but the context they came from.
I enjoyed meeting Christa Miller and learning about her work. We kept the questions brief so that you can have a chance to ask her your own. I think what she does is fascinating, as I'm sure you will.
Why are you online?
There's no real reason not to be! I've been online since my first year of college 16 years ago. Then, listservs provided fun downtime between classes, and also helped me tap into communities I didn't have access to on campus, because I lived at home. (This also became important when I had children.)
Later, when I started my freelance writing business, I was successful because I was able to find out about, then research and reach, people all across the country without very much time or effort. Most recently I've learned how to use social tools to network.
A desire to start participating more in the conversation with other PR/marketing/social media professionals. I've been writing in the B2B space for 8 years, but as I start to grow into the wider PR area, I want to network with people I think I can truly learn from and perhaps help -- now and down the road.
I have found Conversation Agent's content to resonate particularly, so it's one of the places I try to spend time.
My blog, Cops 2.0, is -- I hope -- showing law enforcement agencies that it's OK to engage the public via social media rather than broadcast at them, as they are somewhat used to doing with media. I do see a lot of that, especially on Twitter, but I also see a few brave departments and officers out there connecting more personally, so I want to point to them as examples of how it can work to show law enforcement as human above all else.
I think a lot of police officers and administrators have this fear that if they engage the public as humans, they will lose their authority. The good ones know this is not true. You can be friendly and open with people and still have their respect, even when you do need to step into an enforcement capacity.
As Gen Y start to move into law enforcement, I hope that they will bring social media skills with them and adapt them to the job before they learn (either through experience or other cops) to shield themselves from the public.
I'm also working with a company that seeks to change the way investigators approach the Internet as a place to find evidence of criminal activity. That might appear to fly in the face of social media values -- I'm sure some people would look at it as "Big Brother" -- but a lot of cops won't go online for a variety of reasons.
They don't know how to collect and preserve evidence there, or their administrators think it's just a big waste of time. They should be protecting the Internet as they do the other physical neighborhoods they patrol.
So as I represent this company, Vere Software, my hope is to help show investigators that just as they keep one eye on the activity in the neighborhood as they perform community policing -- online they can also be friendly and helpful, but also know what to look for and how to get it to keep everyone safe.
I want to connect with any law enforcement agency doing something really unique with social media, engaging *with* the public in some way rather than simply having a presence on Twitter and Facebook. I'd like to have more case studies on Cops 2.0.
Otherwise, any PR/marketing veteran willing to provide guidance to a noob with no formal training would be helpful!
Thanks again, Valeria. My Twitter handle is @christammiller.
There are a numbe of blogs under communications and marketing on my blogroll you might consider reading, if you don't already Christa.
Does any of you know of and can connect Christa with law enforcement agencies that are doing something interesting with social media?Let's keep testing our six degrees of separation.