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Social Media Quick Tip: 12 Ways to Increase Your Facebook Fan Base

The No. 1 rule in all social media is to create compelling content. Beyond that, there are a number of additional ways to get people to hit the like button for your Facebook page. Here are a dozen. Tell us what works for you.

1. Interact with your fans: Respond to comments. Post questions, contests, humor. Each time someone comments on one of your posts, or hits the “like” button, their friends become aware of your page.

2. Tell them who you are: A big mistake made by many, if not most, law enforcement agencies is not letting fans know who the people behind the posts are. I like to recommend agencies have their members post as themselves with their police photo included. Also, consider adding an addition tab letting people know who runs your page.

3. Create a welcome page: A welcome page takes people who haven’t liked your page yet to a custom welcome page rather than to your wall. While you’re at it, put a welcome video in there from your Chief. Creating a welcome page requires adding a custom tab.

4. Use widgets on your website: There are many free plugins you can use on your website to make it easy for people to like your page. Some will display your current stream. Others will show a selection of your fans, or simply just provide a button to like your page from your website.

5. Status tagging: By using the @ symbol in your updates, followed by a person or business name, you’re sending that post to the page of the person or business. As law enforcement agencies, be careful about how you use this, but it can be very effective at getting more eyeballs to your page.

6. Post pictures: Especially pictures of your K-9s, action shots, helicopters, etc. Fans love to see images of cops doing what they do.

7. Use Facebook ads: Running an ad on Facebook is super easy and inexpensive. You can specify a cap on what you spend down to very low amounts. Facebook allows you to zero in on any demographic via their interests, where they live, age, etc.

8. Maintain consistency: Create a posting schedule to assist you in getting something posted regularly. The main thing is to post on a regular basis to keep reminding people that you’re there and you’re paying attention to your page.

9. E-mail signature: Add your Facebook address (assuming you’ve set a custom name) to the e-mail signature for every member of your department. In fact, all your social media profiles should consistently be distributed this way.

10. Print collateral: Put your Facebook URL, and all your other department social media addresses on every piece of print media you create including brochures, business cards, letterhead, posters and newsletters.

11. Create a poll: Find a free application to post polls for your fans to participate with. People love to vote and see how others voted on controversial or otherwise interesting topics.

12. Link to Twitter: I never suggest sending tweets to Facebook, but sending Facebook posts to your Twitter stream is fine, and it’s an effective way to get Twitter followers to join you on another platform.

What’s worked for your agency? Please add your tip in the comments section so we can all learn from your success.

This Social Media Quicktip was previously published on LawOfficer.com.

The SMILE Conference Community Loses a Friend


The SMILE Conference community has suffered a devastating loss with the passing of Peter Berghammer. Peter passed away unexpectedly Saturday evening, October 1st. Peter has been a supporter of SMILE since its inception in April of 2010. Peter was a great man; he was kind and brilliant, and he sincerely cared about law enforcement and the safety of law officers. His distinguished career is detailed below.

Peter gave his final presentation at The SMILE Conference in Dallas on September 29th, entitled “Social Media: Public Safety, Censorship and Dissent | Analysis of Tools and Trends in the Control of Social Media Dominance”. He had been a highly regarded speaker at all four SMILE Conferences to date; over the heads of some in attendance while others were in awe of his knowledge.

His presentation in Chicago – “How Do I Surveil Thee? – Let Me Count the Ways” is here. His presentation in Santa Monica – “Can the Social Media Genie be Put Back in the Bottle? The double edged sword facing law enforcement” is the most watched SMILE Conference video and is available here.

Peter leaves behind his wife Susan and their 20-month-old daughter, Abrielle.


The text below is the content from a press release issued by Public Communications Worldwide:

Garden Grove, CA October 5, 2011

– It is with a deep sense of sadness and loss that Public Communications/Worldwide (PC/W), a long-time Southern California independent public relations and marketing communications firm, announces the passing of Senior Strategist Peter Berghammer. Fifty-one year-old Berghammer died unexpectedly Saturday evening, October 1 from heart failure. Peter was an innovator and serial entrepreneur who worked on technology, aerospace and public-safety accounts for PC/W.

Though best known for his marketing acumen, Peter possessed a thorough understanding and appreciation for strategic alliances, acquisitions, and mergers. Through his leadership, The Copernio Holding Company, which he founded in 2001 and in which he served as Chief Executive Officer, quickly grew from an IT solutions provider to an organization with divisions handling consulting, research, warehousing, and logistics. Under his guidance, Copernio expanded from a single location to an international corporation with warehouses and offices in over 18 countries.

In 2003, he founded Future Formats, an offshoot of the research arm of Copernio, dedicated to the consumer electronics industry and photonics research.

No matter the endeavor, Peter’s goal always remained the same: to assist clients in achieving their business objectives through the intelligent and efficient use of information technology along with a strong infrastructure.

Immediately prior to founding Copernio, Peter served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the on-line marketplace startup Avolo. With an aggressive marketing and product development strategy, he took the company to a leadership position in e-commerce trade.

Prior to that, Peter served as Director of Worldwide Communications for aerospace, defense, and industrial fastening systems manufacturer Fairchild Fasteners (now part of Alcoa). He was a pioneer in the mid-1990s in the integration of CAD/CAM with solid modeling, and the integration of solid models with the internet – effectively building a proof of concept platform, which allowed for models to be designed and deployed in one location and manufactured in locations thousands of miles away.

Later, as an executive at EDS, Peter oversaw Fairchild’s web and network implementation strategy and deployment. He was responsible for developing Fairchild’s database-driven architecture, and laid the foundation for later integration of MRP, ERP, and ERP2 systems with the internet, joining facilities in over 20 countries.

Peter began his career in the late 1970’s with aerospace fastening company Rosan of Newport Beach, CA. Rosan was later acquired by Rexnord, then by Banner Aerospace, and eventually by Fairchild.

Peter stood out for his forward thinking and strong technical grasp of many issues in the industries with which he was involved. As such, he was active in a number of industry groups. These included being a life member of the American Institute of Aviation and Aerospace (AIAA), and a 20-year member of the Society of Aerospace and Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the Optical Society of America. He also belonged to The Center for Intelligence Studies, International Association for Cryptologic Research, and The SIIA: Software and Information Industries Association, in which he was an active participant on the Intellectual Property Sub-Committee, Search Engine watch group, and the Software as Service Sub-Committee.

Peter’s military associations included the U.S. Naval Institute and The Navy League, The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), and The Air Force Association. He is a life member of all of the aforementioned groups. He also belonged to the AFIO (Association of Former Intelligence Officers), NMIA (National Military Intelligence Association), IACR (International Association for Cryptologic Research), and MICA (Military Intelligence Corps Association).

Peter served his country with quiet effectiveness and always understood the importance of speaking truth to power. He brought this determination – to effectively make a difference and treat all with decency – to all of his relationships in the corporate world.

Among his educational credentials are the University of San Diego, the Goethe Institute, Cal Tech Engineering Management, and Stanford Law Intellectual Property and e-business. In 2005-2006, he was named a non-residential Fellow at Stanford Law: Center for Internet and Society researching security and crypotologic systems.

Peter was a well known speaker dealing with topics from consumer electronics to Intellectual Property, legislation, law through aerospace security, and integrated military logistics systems. He spoke on behalf of numerous organizations and at numerous international tradeshows.

As a husband and most recently, as a father, Peter found his happiest calling – and one to which he was wholly dedicated – as his family provided a newfound joy in which all his friends delighted and celebrated.

He is survived by his wife Susan van Barneveld (president of PC/W) and 20-month-old daughter Abrielle Ghislaine. The family lives in Huntington Beach, CA.

Daughter Abrielle was the light of Peter’s life. Her future education meant a great deal to him. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to an education fund for her at 19744 Beach Blvd., Suite 398, Huntington Beach, CA 92648.

A memorial service for Peter will be held on October 17 at 11:00 a.m. at Saint Mary’s by the Sea Catholic Church in Huntington Beach, CA.

— 30 —

Public Communications Worldwide
Susan van Barneveld/Nicole Fait
(714) 891-3660,

All products/services and trademarks mentioned in this release are the properties of their respective companies.
© 2011 Public Communications/Worldwide (PC/W). All rights reserved.

National Public Safety Broadband Debate: What Our Future Could Hold

Mike Bostic

I just came back from The SMILE Conference in Dallas where I spoke on the debate surrounding the creation of a nationwide high-speed public safety network. For those who were unable to attend the conference, here’s my take on what the future could hold for public safety.

When it comes to public safety technology, one factor we can be assured of is that change is certain. Moore’s law says that technology grows exponentially – and it’s expected to continue to do so until 2015 or 2020 at the earliest. At the same time, P25 trunked implementations and LTE trials mean that the technology you use right now will need to be replaced. While we might like to hang on to those analog radio handsets because they’re familiar, public safety has no choice but to keep up with the times.

With technology blazing ahead, first responders see the rapid evolution of new electronic devices in their everyday lives – and want the same in the field. Businesses increasingly find that customers are demanding product evolution instead of end-of-life replacements. This requires multi-vendor interoperability, which means essentially ensuring that equipment from various vendors can work together seamlessly. To do this, open interfaces are required. This multi-vendor interoperability is key to a cost-effective solution for public safety because increased competition between product companies will result in a lower price for the customer – something that’s important for every agency working under today’s tight budget constraints.

Recent discussions in Congress have focused on whether public safety should be given the D Block or whether that spectrum should be auctioned off to commercial users who in turn let public safety agencies use it during times of crisis. Both the House and Senate have proposed their own versions on how to build such a network. While the frameworks differ significantly, sustained pressure on lawmakers to move forward on public safety can hopefully resolve the current stalemate.

Some could argue that the perceived need for a dedicated public safety wireless network is overblown. They could point to the fact that response activities were largely unaffected during both Hurricane Irene and last month’s earthquake in Virginia. But the fact that communications towers handled the influx of cellular calls without major outages doesn’t mean that everything’s fine. If anything, there is acute strain on communications systems, as underscored by the fact that FEMA had to urge people to stay off the phone because networks wouldn’t be able to handle the rush of calls to family and friends, as well as emergency response communications.

So what could the future hold for public safety? I urge you to think big. Without question, the tools you use to communicate with your family and friends – from tablets to smartphones – must be made available to law enforcement so officers can download data, check updates and ID suspects. But beyond that, the ability to talk seamlessly to other public safety personnel in real time is more than just communication. It could save lives.

To view the full presentation:

Who's SMILE'n Now?

The fourth SMILE Conference begins Sept 28th in Dallas, Texas. Chief David O. Brown and the men and women of the Dallas PD will be our hosts as we delve into issues involving flash mobs, social activism, the changing role between law enforcement and the media.

The regular rate is now in effect but it’s easy to snag a discount as a guest of the Dallas PD, our Gold sponsor Cassidian Communications, or other sponsors/partners: Dallas Dodge, Hunt Consolidated, Nixle, LexisNexis, PoliceOne.com or LawOfficer.com.

Featured presentations include:

  • “Tweeting from the Frontline: Social Media and Public Order” by Superintendent Mark Payne of West Midlands, UK
  • “Social Media for Homicide Investigations” by Detective Frank Skubic and Constable Scott Mills of The Toronto Police Service
  • “‘See Something, Say Something™’ Campaigns and the Ethical Issues of Mass Surveillance in Law Enforcement and National Security” by Professor Kristene Unworth of Drexel University
  • “Social Media: Public Safety, Censorship and Dissent | Analysis of Tools and Trends in the Control of Social Media Dominance” by Peter Berghammer, Senior Strategist at Public Communications Worldwide
  • “Expect the Unexpected – Social Media During the Vancouver Stanley Cup Riot” by Anne Longley, PIO at Vancouver Police
  • “Intercepted: Social Media Monitoring for Flash Mobs and Mega Parties” by David Gerulski, VP at Digital Stakeout
  • “Strategic Communications: Adapting New Media to Reach the News Media” by Captain Mike Parker of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

The conference will also feature a panel discussion: “Interference or Assistance: Media, Social Citizens and the Speed of Information” which will address citizen activists, media snafus, trolls and how law enforcement can best deal with them.

Here’s a look at the agencies and organizations who will be represented at The SMILE Conference in Dallas.

  • Arlington (TX) Police Department
  • Auburn Hills (MI) Police Department
  • Carrollton (TX) Police Department
  • Cassidian Communications
  • Corpus Christ (TX) Police Department
  • CyberWOrx, 808, LLC
  • Dallas (TX) Police Department
  • Drexel Universisty
  • Encryptics
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Ferndale (TX) Police Department
  • Hunt Consolidated, Inc.
  • Information Sharing Environment
  • Killeen (TX) Police Department
  • Lexis Nexis
  • Los Angeles (CA) Sheriff’s Department
  • McKinney (TX) Police Department
  • Minnesota Department of Public Safety
  • New York Police Department
  • Nixle
  • Orange County (FL) Sheriff’s Office
  • Public Communications Worldwide
  • Richland Hills (TX) Police Department
  • Richardson (TX) Police Department
  • Richmond (TX) Police Department
  • Roanoke Police Department
  • Rocky Mountain Information Network
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police (CA)
  • San Angelo (TX) Police Department
  • San Antonio Police Officer’s Association
  • Sobey’s (ON) Inc.
  • Spokane County (WA) Sheriff’s Department
  • Spokane (WA) Police Department
  • York Regional Police (CA)
  • Texas Auto Burglary & Theft Prevention Authority
  • Toronto Police Service (CA)
  • Trophy Club (TX) Police Department
  • Turkish National Police
  • University Park (TX) Police Department
  • Vancouver Police (CA)
  • West Midlands Police (UK)
  • West Texas A & M University


We hope you can join us at The SMILE Conference. If not, watch hashtag #SMILEcon. Additionally, we expect to stream some of the presentations.

Social Media Quick Tip: 5 Ways to Engage Your Community via Facebook

With these tips, create a greater working relationship with the citizenry & more support for your department

Social media is about being social. If you want to build relationships with your community, you must create dialog and help your citizens understand what policing is all about. The end result is a greater working relationship with the citizenry and, with any luck, more support for your agency when you need it. Here are a handful of ways that you can better engage your community using your Facebook page.

1. Post information about wanted suspects: Agencies who are having the best luck with this are sticking to posting only the mugshots of wanted persons for serious crimes. Some who posted mugshots for things like DUI arrests experienced some backlash. Check out Colorado Springs PD and Evesham Township PD Facebook pages for two good examples.

2. Promote your agency’s events by using Facebook’s event tool: Whether it’s an appearance by the K-9 unit or a press conference, any event your agency has should be promoted to your Facebook fans. Wall posts get bumped down quickly. By creating an event, a visitor to your page can quickly view all upcoming and past events at once. You also have the option of sending a notice of the event to some or all of your fans.

3. Run campaigns for agency initiatives: All initiatives for which your agency used to create a paper flier should be promoted on your Facebook page. Whether you’re undertaking a public awareness campaign for distracted driving, recruiting new officers or helping young parents install child safety seats correctly, develop a campaign to create awareness and encourage discussion on Facebook.

4. Encourage dialog with some light-hearted humor: Allowing your audience to see the more human side of the people behind the badge goes a long way for building great community relationships. Check out the Beat the Caption contests posted every Friday by the Houston PD to see a nice example of a large metro agency showing its humorous side.

5. Communicate news of officers doing great work: Not only is this a great way to let the public know you’re getting the job done, it’s also good for officer morale. Have the chief post an atta-boy for a job well-done and watch the kudos fly in from your fans.

And when you’re ready to ratchet it up a notch, try these tips:

1. Stream your press conferences through Facebook with UStream or LiveStream: Streaming your press conferences lets those who are interested hear everything that was said rather than just what the 6 o’clock news chooses to air. Getting it out there live also goes a long way toward displaying transparency and accountability. Don’t get hung up thinking you need a fancy camera. If the room is lit well, an inexpensive Web cam should be fine. Just be sure to test the audio ahead of time.

2. Create a Welcome landing page for when people first visit your site:
This requires installing a tab with iFrames and setting the new tab as the default landing page. You can include a Welcome to our Facebook Page video from the chief and/or a written welcome message letting your community know they’ve found you. Once they click “like,” they’ll land on your wall on subsequent visits.

3. Create separately tabbed pages for your wanted persons and Level 3 sex offenders: Call attention to the page from time to time on your wall, but visitors will become trained to check it for latest photos and videos of wanted people and sex offenders.

This Social Media Quicktip was previously published on LawOfficer.com.

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