The Queensland Police Service Media Unit has gathered a reputation as a skilful exponent of utilising online media to distribute important information in an effective but humorous way.
QPS have been one of the pioneers for adapting social media for emergency services, winning multiple awards for their connections with the community. The use of Facebook by the police in Queensland first became prominent during the 2010-11 floods. Quickly followed by thousands of Queenslanders, the platform allowed police to distribute information about flooded roads and include weather warnings to the populace, as an excellent addition to normal mediums such as radio and television. The Service has subsequently received multiple awards for its work online.
At the time, Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson said the use of Facebook was more than useful tool for the police to spread the word to the community and to mainstream media.
“Social media allows us to provide a better service to mainstream media outlets, by providing unprecedented levels of real-time information” – Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson
The ability to upload videos and photos is of great use for QPS, such as publishing this footage of a man attempting to steal a car from a driveway. This footage has received over 50,000 views by members of social media, and can be shared easily and quickly to assist police in their investigations.
QPS have also figured also taken a shine to dad jokes and puns, as well as some anti-Nickelback posting to keep viewers entertained whilst providing up-to-date information.
Facebook has developed from its original idea to look at other students on university campuses to become a vital cog in the information distribution of police and emergency services, with the Queensland Ambulance Service and Fire and Rescue Service also having an online presence in the state.
Combined with Twitter, the QPS Media Unit is a great example of how to distribute information to a wide viewer base by using social media.