Wednesday 10 September 2014

SMILE day 2

We started the day with some exceptional awards for people who had made major contributions to the Police use of Social Media.

Each recipient provided a story of hope and expectation. Hope in the sense that it restored faith in the quality and commitment of Policing across the globe, particualrly in light of much recent negativity. That hope sustaining my belief that the vaste majority of cops do work hard and will deliver. 
The expectation is that if these winners can achieve so much, imagine what can be achieved if their stories and accounts are repeated, borrowed with pride and replicated virally.

So the awards impressed. I have to say I am so pleased for Mike Brown. An individual who much deserved his award as Top Cop. He has known the ups and downs of corporate attention, ignorance and support, challenge and authority. I have nothing but respect for the way he has calmly managed all this and it is with great delight that his talents are now being used nationally. He remains a traveller, seeking improvement on his bumpy road. An asset of true value and an ambassador. 

His presentation given later was dynamic and well informed, points argued from the head and the heart yet delivered professionally without notes or PowerPoint. 

He had the misfortune to follow a highly emotional yet brilliant presentation by Alex and Paul from RCMP New Brunswick. Telling the very recent story of how they managed the death of three colleagues in an informative and well structured manner, was itself an exemplar of the word professional. Holding the audience spellbound, yet imparting learned wisdom and knowledge was an amazing sight. Very powerful yet filled with aspects of the case that inspired. Their colleagues will not be forgotten.

In between the awards and the RCMP Babak Ahghar gave us an incredible insight into the world of the EU. He discussed an array of EU bodies and their respective contributions and initiatives. From CENTRIC to Athena he discussed some of the work he is undertaking at Sheffield Hallam. Highly informative and again well worth following up

Following Mike Browns delivery Hootsuite gave a really useful account of one of the more valuable tools for helping organisations to manage its interaction through Social Media. A tool many use for simply managing separate profile feeds has a great deal more to offer at an organisational level. Hootsuite UK described its connections with UK Police and many other public and private agencies and organisations, helping them to maximise their use of social media.

The theme of professionalism was extended by David Bailey (Staffs Police) painting an image of a Force in control of its Social Media engagement, flexibly grabbing opportunities to share and to answer. Extolling the virtues of a wide range of SM opportunities, providing examples of cases and initiatives across a host of platforms. Very well delivered and informative.

After David came Simon Cole. As Chief of Leicestershire he has driven Socail Media and is an exemplar of a much engaged senior officer, directing, guiding challenging yet "doing" social media. He is amongst a now steadily increasing group of Chiefs who have crossed the rubicon and have embraced the value and potential of social media. 

So a very useful day full of excellent speakers topped off with an inquisitive audience. 

See #SMILEcon on Twitter for all the links pictures and comments from the presenters and audience



Tuesday 9 September 2014

Some thoughts to make you SMILE

Today was the first day of the SMILE conference.
Social Media Internet Law Enforcement

An opportunity for police and others to consider how Social Media (SM) can be used more effectively. Bringing subject experts, experienced officers and staff, Comms experts and a range of presentations provides everyone with an opportunity to share, learn network and enjoy the benefits and opportunities of SM whilst appreciating the challenges and pitfalls

Some very powerful presentations provided much scope for debate and thought. Chief Constable Chris Sims in his usual straight talking and impactive manner, opened proceedings supported by WMPs PCC David Jamieson. Both were themselves supported by a collection of excellent images of policing over the years. 

Ian Hopkins DCC in GMP gave a powerful rendition of the values and integrity that should support SM, but linked it clearly to a range of highly valuable benefits and operational successes. Leadership in SM at its best from the two largest forces outside London. 

I enjoyed Dan Bartons input, he is head of Comms in the West Mids Police. He showed exactly what can be achieved by a strategic and integrated approach.

I had never heared of Eau Claire and assumed it was a perfume. In fact it's a great area of Wisconsin policed by some real forward thinking leaders. Kyle Roder gave an impassioned address about their approach to SM. A really impressive delivery.

There then followed a mixed group including West Mids Fire, London Ambulance, and West Mids Police. Again some very personal perspectives on the challenges of making and applying SM strategies.

After the CCL presentation (see next post) we heard from Pascal Renes from Belgium covering the challenges of managing SM across the many separate police forces in Belgium. More creativity much more insight. 
Then to top it all a non stop delivery across the web from Peter Sloly of Toronto Police. So many excellent points and issues raised. It would be unfair to summarise in a short paragraph

The total delivery for the day included a whole panoply of issues and ideas. No one can have failed to have been impressed with the variety.

So some thoughts from me

SM cannot just be imposed on staff, they need to feel part of it
You can't wait to give direction about SM to your staff. Your either keep up, or you will lose them
SM benefits are wide and strategic and far outweigh any minor discrepancies
There are however real dangers of officers or staff giving away operation details or becoming corrupted.
No organisation is too small or too big to offer learning to others.
SM is here to stay. It can't be banned or denied, only guided and harnessed. 
There does need to be a way to stop stupidity and certainly an approach to prevent criminality 
Matching the risk and threat with appropriate response is highlyvaluable 

I am certainly looking forward to tomorrow's inputs. 

Finally a massive thanks to Lauri Stevens without whose dedication commitment and energy this would fail.

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