Social Media Roundup: The NYPD’s Social Media Crossfire

A big-city police department's kerfuffle reminds us that, depending on the topic and the audience, social media campaigns can sometimes do more harm than good. Plus: Keep your association on the right track with a comprehensive business plan.

The creators of the #myNYPD hashtag appear to have committed a crime—and the department is its own victim.

The New York Police Department’s social media campaign was meant to draw positive attention, but it didn’t turn out that way. Some lessons in today’s Social Media Roundup:

A Five-O #NoNo

No one thought the #myNYPD hashtag would produce the type of content it did—and that was mistake number one. When creating a social media campaign, especially one with photos, account managers should brainstorm any possible ways the hashtag can be interpreted or hijacked. Digiday has collected a few of the many photos and tweets produced from the campaign gone wrong.

Many upset citizens tweeted their disapproval of NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy while sharing personal experiences about when the department failed them.

“The NYPD is creating new ways to communicate effectively with the community,” said NYPD Deputy Chief Kim Royster.

Even so, the campaign could have been better thought out to prevent a PR disaster. (It’s worth noting, as Digiday‘s Saya Weissman does, that only a small percentage of the tweets were negative, but they set the tone of the news coverage of the backlash.)

If a social PR effort of your own goes negative, take a moment to consider what your members are looking for in a response from you—whether it’s an explanation or an apology. Understanding your members and their expectations can help ease tensions before a potential pitfall. (ht @SWeissman)

Steer Your Association in the Right Direction

“Your business plan needs to be just that—a plan. A strategic and well-thought-out document that clearly shows the aims of the association and breaks them down into manageable chunks.”

That’s what Donna Vieira, vice president of marketing at interlinkONE, writes in a guest post for Association Marketer. She notes that every plan must be constantly updated with information on an association’s mission, benefits, current members’ interests, funds, specific marketing steps, and management.

“Whether your association is new or well established,” she writes, “collating all the information you need for your business plan and using it to review your association’s overall trajectory is a valuable investment of your time in the future of your association.” (ht @johnfoleyjr)

The photo that started the #myNYPD hashtag, which quickly fell out of the department's hands. (via @NYPDnews)

Alexis Williams & Alexis Davis

By Alexis Williams & Alexis Davis

Alexis Williams & Alexis Davis are contributors to Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!