Police Get Positive Rap In Twitter Experiment

A branding agency claims success for a Twitter experiment involving the police.

Mentally Friendly, a Sydney-based branding company, is claiming success in setting up a Twitter account on behalf of the NSW Police, even though they didn’t know about it.

Sydney-based branding company Mentally Friendly set up the account, which managed to get 2,000 followers, as an exercise to see if the public would interact with an online authority figure. Although they haven’t given numbers on how it went – who engaged with the police; who provided information; who reacted positively to tweets – they are claiming there was enough good feedback to claim the ‘experiment’ a success.

Posting comments or ‘tweets’ appealing to public interest, Mentally Friendly found that users responded positively to the concept of an authorities presence in social media.

Creating a platform where people can speak to the police one-on-one and in real time, tweets included reporting accidents and giving police some technical advice.

Nick Gower from Mentally Friendly comments, “The intent was never to misrepresent the NSW Police Force, but to create a simple and genuine dialogue with which to gauge the public’s response. There was a definite culture shock in the beginning which only highlighted the lack of past personal contact online by Australian government bodies.”

Today Mentally Friendly hands over the keys to a well executed and publicized Twitter account for official Police purposes, with hopes that they continue speaking in this powerful conversation.