Safety-PIO-SM-15-001: Maximize your digital real estate

15-001: Maximize your digital real estate
Agency: Sheriff Patricia Ninmann Topic(s):         Writing for Facebook
Date: 01-16-15 Platform:        Facebook

Immediate posts are important, but using valuable social media space is way more important. This was evident when this press release was plainly copied and pasted into this Sheriff’s Facebook page.

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On social media, people already know that your posts are for “immediate release” because Facebook puts your status in the timeline and then time/date stamps it for everyone. Also writing with all caps infers YELLING or SCREAMING. As public servants, we strive to bring peace to stressful situations including in messaging.

On Facebook, Sheriff’s name is listed right at the top so it isn’t necessary to repeat it again in the content. Email address in a post? Most likely, people will just click the “Comment” button below your post and respond back. They will likely not email you questions.

That space you are using is PRIME digital real estate. Do not repeat already posted information as readers will rapidly lose interest in your post. But DO write a concise and interesting status update with picture(s) to draw more interest from your audience. Remember that social media is a visual medium.

A more effective Facebook post could have read

Today, Dodge County Sheriff’s Officers responded to an auto crash with severe injury involving… <insert picture from crash>

By phrasing it this way:

  1. You identify the agency responding to the incident and the incident itself.
  2. You pull the reader in with a leading headline and help news reporters write their story.
  3. You use a picture from the incident that helps increase interest in your post.
  4. You use Facebook’s prime digital real estate in everyone’s timeline and push good information.

Time is valuable, so tweet good stuff.

@rusnivek

 

To download the one-pager, click here: Safety-PIO-SM-15-001

 

 

 

 

Write For Different Platforms-Safety-PIO-SM-14-003

14-003: Write for Different Platforms

Agency: Rocky Mountain Area IMT

Topic(s):         Social Media Platform Specific Messaging

Date: Summer 2014

Platform(s):    Press Release vs Twitter

Despite the message being essentially the same, every communications platform is different.

Speed is important, but correctly addressing your audience is critical in the world of public information.

On July 1, 2014, this tweet was posted on the Rocky Mountain Area Incident Management Team’s feed during the Eightmile Fire while deployed in Canon City, Colorado.

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“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” In all caps? All caps use on social media portrays yelling. Professionals should portray calm/control.

Twitter’s social media platform premise is a fast microblog service focusing on immediate information. This templated press release lingo (FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE) is not necessary. Every tweet is automatically time/date stamped including matching the recipients’ time zone. Do not waste your valuable 140 characters.

To me, this was a cut-and-paste action, or even worse yet, they just linked the agency’s Facebook and Twitter accounts together. No time was spent in addressing the various platforms used to push this valuable information. Remember, PIO actions on each platform in social media are not generic, they are specific. We talk about safety to kids differently than we inform adults on safety right? Likewise, we should address our audiences on social media accordingly to the platform they use.

A more effective tweet could have read:

“Updated information & stats on the #Eightmile Fire ongoing in Colorado can be found here fb.me/6KArLmgFr

By phrasing it this way:

  1. The tweet is shorter and more concise.
  2. Tweet identifies where the Rocky Mountain Area Incident Management Team is deployed.
  3. The main point of contact is identified on the Facebook link provided if more specific information is needed.
  4. Shorter messaging will allow your followers to retweet/repost and amplify your information.
  5. The use of hashtags will help audiences find information about the #Eightmile Fire and identify the Rocky Mountain Area Incident Management Team as a trusted source of information.

Know the differences in mainstream social media platforms because what will work on one old platform (press release) will NOT work on newer platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc…) Know social media and use their amenities to your advantage.

 Time is valuable, so post good stuff.

@rusnivek

***To download this as a single-page printable format, click this: WriteForDifferentPlatforms-Safety-PIO-SM-14-003