Pushing Professional Presence Limits

The problem with popularity is that when we try to achieve it, we can end up pushing the professional presence limits to the side in hopes for a more popularity on social media.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the quest for creating a viral post, jumping on a bandwagon or pushing the envelope knowing that you will gain views, shares, like and comments.

Far too often I’ve seen great accounts or posts by officers that try to one-better themselves; go for the next level of humor or shock and awe. The thinking is, “If that last one was good, this one will be great.”

What happens though is you can end up offending people (for the wrong reasons), using someone as an embarrassment tool, putting out bad content or just showing a simple lack of professionalism and good judgement.

Case In Point

I read an article this morning out of Australia about a Tweet gone bad by the Wembley Police. (Click here for the article)

The Wembley Police ( @WembleyPol ) shows a regular flair for creative posts which have garnered good attention and popularity while being professional, yet very relatable to their public. (All good things).

The tweet in question is this one…

Photo Credit: Daily Mail via @Twitter

Photo Credit: Daily Mail via @Twitter

The picture alone should have caused a pause for reflection by the person who posted the Tweet. The use of the word “gooch” while adding vivid description, was not needed as part of the post.

This is a story that you could tweet about in many different ways and elicit great reaction without the panty pic and by using a softer description.facepalm

The Fix

What do you do when you “overstep” such as in this case? Exactly what the Wembley Police did.
1) Recognize it as potentially problematic
2) Remove it
3) Move on

Go one step further and re-post the story with a different creative image and tweet.

This is an errant post and that’s it. It won’t damage the overall reputation of the Wembley Police and I hope the person who posted it merely got a, “Be a little more careful next time.”

The best piece of advice there is, as the spokesperson for the Wembley Police said…

Which should always be the mantra before hitting the post, tweet, publish, send, whatever else there is button.

About Tim Burrows

Tim Burrows was a sworn police officer for 25 years with experience in front line operations, primary response, traffic, detective operations and supervision. He has training in a broad spectrum of policing responsibilities including, IMS, Emergency Management, computer assisted technology investigations, leadership, community policing and crisis communications. Tim is available to assist you with your social media program and communication. Click here to contact him http://bit.ly/ContactTimBurrows

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