Social media and the public sector – A unique trial in Manchester

by Peter Young on October 14, 2010 · 1 comment

Today saw a great social media campaign break here in the Manchester area. For 24 hours the Mancheter Police are live tweeting the inboujnd enquiries and 999 calls for all to see. The brainchild of Gabba run by social media expert Paul Fabretti, it has certainly got a number of tongues wagging and whether people are discussing the state of crime in the Manchester area or the uniqueness of the campaign itself its definitely created a buzz.

[blackbirdpie id="27343544062"]

[blackbirdpie id="27338756362"]

[blackbirdpie id="27348493769"]

[blackbirdpie id="27335947796"]

The campaign is being run by two police staff who are responsible for tweeting these updates, both from our PR department, rather than front line police officers. The accounts used are as follows:

  1. gmp24_1
  2. gmp24_2
  3. gmp24_3

The trial itself is interesting for a number of reasons:

  • It is being run in what is traditional offline sector
  • It is heavily utilising the Twitter social media network – one from personal experience  many public sector organisations traditionally shy away from social media.
  • Users can obviously respond to the tweets to the police themselves

THere are however a number of areas I can’t help could have added some additional value

  • Whilst call references are used, there is no way to easily differentiate this from other numerical data. It may have been interesting to hashtag (or similar) this data so that subsequent information retrieval could be undertaken – think #uksnow. This could have provide a valuable insight into the breakdown of what crime occurs across the Manchester area – and where.
  • Locational references could have been done in a similar ay. This could then be referenced as above to provide an insight into where particular trouble spots occur.
  • Not seen that much interaction between the accounts and respondants as ye

However its certainly a fascinating insight into the work of the police, and crime in Manchester in general – and to the geek in me a fascinating usage of social media as a genuinely useful broadcast mechanism. With so much money being used to communicate with the general public – is this a potential insight into potential future broadcast channels or a one off. I would hope something like this should be given time to mature, as first impressions would certainly appear very positive.

Google+ Comments

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Charlotte Walker October 14, 2010 at 3:56 pm

It’s certainly a fascinating insight into the type of thing the Police have to deal with day to day, and I agree that locational data would make for useful guides on particularly crime heavy areas.
However, one question looms heavy in my mind: ‘is this the best use of police resources?’. Perhaps that’s why they’re only doing it for 24 hours – to test the publics reaction.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: