Greater Manchester Police take to the Tweets

October 15, 2010

Yesterday Greater Manchester Police demonstrated the power and popularity of social media by Tweeting all reported incidents over a 24 hour period. The innovative campaign – an attempt by the police force to give the public an idea of its everyday workload – gained a lot of exposure, being widely reported not only in the digital world but also by traditional media. Indeed, the activity became so popular that @gmpolice’s Twitter following rose from around 3,000 to over 17,000 people.

What did Greater Manchester Police’s Tweeting tell us?

Well, between 5am on Thursday 14 October and 5am on Friday 15 October they dealt with 3,205 incidents (with 341 people arrested) – all reported on Twitter. Three @gmp24 Twitter accounts had to be created to deal with the amount of incidents and avoid Twitter’s anti-spam measures (despite this @gmp24_2 found itself in ‘Twitter jail’ due to over Tweeting).

What are the effects of the campaign?

By revealing the inner workings of what they do through the innovative use of social media, Greater Manchester Police has been able to raise awareness about the complex social issues they face and stimulate debate about the role the Police play in everyday life. In the public sector especially – partly due to increasingly tightening budgets – transparency, visibility and open communication are crucial issues. The Twitter campaign directly addressed these and revealed to the community the diversity of challenges the Police face and the valuable and important service they are providing.

Social media has proven itself as the ideal way to manage your online reputation and to answer the growing demand for openness. In this way #gmp24 has been a great reminder of the opportunities social media offers in breaking down misconceptions, capturing the imagination – and placing important issues in the public arena.


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