Social media training, Stakeholder engagement

When changes were made to the National Policing Digital Strategy in 2020, a police force based in the East of England approached AMBITIOUS PR to support them in developing a new social media training programme to roll out across their community policing division.

The aim of the social media training was to equip their officers with the right tools and knowledge to harness the opportunities of social media. Officers would be able to effectively engage with community and build positive relationships with them across social media platforms and in real life.

It was particularly important that the training would give their officers confidence in using social media, as many of them weren’t digital natives.

Our activity began with an audit of all of their social media channels across Facebook and Twitter. We identified and reported back on what they were currently doing well, as well as areas for improvement, and areas that we would need to cover in the training.

They planned to run six-day programme that covered everything from using social media to engage with Key Individual Networks, to how to build your personal brand online as a police officer, engaging and building communities online, through to how to manage crisis situations and escalating issues.

The training also provided counsel and advice in different scenarios. These included dealing with trolling, online abuse and negative comments. We also ensured they could evaluate the performance of their social media efforts so they can take learning into their own hands and continue to develop after the training was complete.

After just four sessions out of the six, a second audit of their channels showed an increase in the volume of posts from the officers on the programme. It was clear they were inspired by their new training and wanted to put their new ideas and skills into practice. In just six months, this resulted in an increase in page visits on Facebook, averaging 109.5%.

Several cohorts of their community policing officers are now involved in their social media programme.