Social media won’t replace print for Staffordshire Police Service

October 27, 2011 by  

Social media is being embraced by a number of local people and organisations in Stoke-on-Trent and the wider Staffordshire region but officials insist that this new communication channel will enhance printed materials rather than replace them.

Twitter is the social network where users communicate short updates that must be no longer than 140 characters each. It has boomed in popularity lately and currently boasts more than 100 million users worldwide. As well as being able to follow the latest thoughts of celebrities and brands, there is now a real demand for people to be able to follow local authorities and organisations for up-to-the-minute news and information.

Assistant Chief Constable for Staffordshire Police, Jane Sawyers, recently used the social network to help inform local residents about the fallout of the recent London riots and to quell rumours of similar copycat riots that were alleged to be taking place in Stoke-on-Trent. However, despite the move into online communications, she insists that this is simply an additional channel to their existing communication tools. She spoke to This Is Staffordshire and said:

“I used Twitter and Facebook to quell those rumours, to answer specific questions and to send out reassurance messages about the activities of our officers and the absence of disorder. Social media doesn’t replace any other communications tools. We will still meet with members of our communities face to face, work with local media and importantly use our printed newsletters and find other ways to speak to our communities.”

This combined use of different media channels will help to reach different audiences and will cover all bases in terms of the different types of media that people consume; for example some people respond better to online communication and some to things like newsletter or flyer printing.

Stoke-on-Trent residents have begun to take note of the new Twitter activity and Assistant Chief Constable Sawyers has gained around 16,000 followers since she started Tweeting.