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Las Vegas: 58 concert attendees dead, 500 injured. Our nation's attention has been focused on the October 1 mass shooting. We've consumed hours of news coverage about the event, the victims, the shooter and the Las Vegas law enforcement personnel. But the one thing that hasn't received as much coverage is how the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) connected with concert-goers and the community at large. Here's a quick look:
1) Active Social Media Channels: The LVMPD treated their Facebook and Twitter feeds as official communications outlets. The department Facebook and Twitter pages contained regular updates with information about ongoing investigations, updates on officers and news of importance. If you look at the pages, you'll find that the LVMPD's content rivals the content you'd see on a six-o'clock TV newscast. Social media is not an afterthought for the LVMPD. It's treated as an official communications channel.
2) The Right People: The individual – or team – running the LVMPD social media feeds knew how to handle communications during a crisis. The social media messages were timely and coordinated with real-time events (road closures, emergency info). It appears that the LVMPD invested time and training to make sure their social media team knew how to handle such an event.
3) Valuable Content: During the shooting, the LVMPD provided important content to concert-goers and the community. As already mentioned, users received information about emergency info and road closures. But there was much more content available on the social media pages: information about ongoing investigations, tips, contact info and community events. The strategy behind the social media content was thoughtfully planned.
Borrow a few ideas from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Make sure your team knows how and what to include on your social media pages. Invest time showing them how the channels tie in to your on-air and community outreaches. And if you don't have a social media strategy, sit down and think through how you can tie your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds to your on-air messages in order to make the most of your communications channels.
Take the time to invest in your team and tools today. Don't wait until you're dealing with a crisis.
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