Interview with the Crisis Blogger - Gerald Baron

Gerald Baron, or as many of you may know him, The Crisis Blogger, is one of the biggest names in crisis communication in the online world. I have been following his blog for a while and in the last month or so Gerald has been touching on some key issues regarding social media. I thought I would reach out to him for a podcast interview and he was kind enough to come in for a chat. We talk about his paper “Twitter and Government Communications,” and how although, Twitter may die off the underlying function of instant news sharing is monumental for emergency response agencies. Gerald emphasizes the importance of branding, public expectations, transparency and rumor management as a part of an overall information discipline process. He describes how his company PIER Systems (Public Information Emergency Response) manages information distribution to effectively administer proper response and communication during an event and meet public expectations.

Play Social Media @Large

Discussion With Greg Friese

A discussion about social media and emergency communications for first responders with social media consultant and emergency services professional, Greg Friese. Greg is the co-founder of, and founder of He has also as a background as a paramedic, and provides training tools for others in the industry. We talk about how police can get up and running with social media, where to begin and the best practices to maintain an effective social media presence.

Play Social Media @Large

DailySplice Launches Law Enforcement 2.0 Podcast – “Social Media @Large.”

Victoria, BC, (Oct. 23 2009) - DailySplice, creator of the Podcast Station and specializing in online communications for law enforcement, has launched a new podcast titled “Social Media @Large.” The Podcast Station itself is branded for DailySplice and called “The Law Enforcement 2.0 Podcast.”

The podcast will delve into the world of new social media and its role in law enforcement. This subject is very new to the web 2.0 conversation, and DailySplice is one of few companies covering it in depth, let alone doing a podcast about it.

“Many police departments have become active on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, but most still are very fresh to the idea and looking to learn more,” said CEO Rian Bowden.

Bowden hopes the podcast can become a one-stop hub for all discussion related to social media and law enforcement.

The podcast has been created by DailySplice Marketing Coordinator, Mike Waraich, who has been researching social media’s role in law enforcement for some time, and blogging about it and discussing it in groups and forums.

“I created a group on LinkedIn also called Law Enforcement 2.0, and started to really pick up some popularity,” says Waraich. “Once I realized the growth and popularity of the group and recognized our need to start podcasting the Social Media @Large podcast was a no-brainer.”

Waraich will not solely contribute to the podcast, however. The podcast will be open for others in the niche field of web 2.0 and law enforcement as well.

“I am opening this up to some of the industry’s top thought-leaders,” says Waraich. “Bringing in opinions and perspective from others in the industry will bring about greater value for listeners; much like it did for readers in the LinkedIn group.”

So far, the podcast has 3 episodes – an inaugural episode, a discussion episode featuring Christa M Miller from and Lauri Stevens from, and An interview with Chief Dan Alexander from the Boca Raton Police Department. Waraich intends to release at least one weekly episode. Contributors will add episodes as they please.

About DailySplice Technologies Inc.
DailySplice is a leading developer of online multimedia management tools to make streaming audio and video content easy and quick for the non-developer. Users create an aggregated playlist of various podcasts either supplied by third parties or can broadcast their own content on custom branded Podcast Station™ based on the preferences of their target audience. The Podcast Station allows audio updates by cellphone and creates detailed analytics report so users can continuously monitor and assess the needs of their market. DailySplice augments its client offering with a free podcast directory with over 100,000 well-organized audio and video clips.

Lewis Sobotkiewcz,
Co-Founder of DailySplice Technologies Inc.
+1 (866) 334-3958

How Police Can Use Twitter.

This blog post is one in a series that describes some of best and most interesting ways police use social media. This post is limited to Law Enforcement’s use of Twitter.

Twitter is a micro-blogging service in which users can share or “tweet” messages of 140 characters or less.  You simply follow those users whose tweets you want to see in your Twitter feed, and those who want to see your tweets, will in turn, follow you. The more value people see in your tweets the more followers you will have, and thus more eyes on the messages you are sharing. This presents an interesting premise for law enforcement. How can police use Twitter to provide valuable information for their citizens, and at the same time use it to fight crime in their communities? Well, I thought I would list a few examples on some interesting ways some police departments have been using the popular micro-blogging service.

Boston Police – Stolen Bikes

The Boston Police Department has a social media presence on Twitter and Facebook. You can follow the department on Twitter @Boston_police, or follow its stolen bikes campaign.

A neat way that the BPD is using Twitter is to find track down stolen bikes. It is part of the city’s overall campaign to make Boston a great bicycling city.

“As part of our initiative to make Boston a world-class bicycling city, the Stolen Bike Alert program makes reporting stolen bikes easier and increases the chances of finding your stolen bike by giving you a larger network of search parties.” From The Stolen Bikes Community Alert website.

A citzen simply register his or her bike and then can report it stolen.

“When you report a stolen bike, we send out an alert to the police, local bike shops, hospital and school security, and everyone who follows us on Twitter or Facebook.” - From The Stolen Bikes Community Alert website.

You can follow the BPD’s stolen bike initiative on Twitter @stolenbikebos or on Facebook:  “Stolen Bikes Boston - Community Alert Program.”

For other ways to keep up with the Boston PD or connect with the city of Boston on its social media networks visit the city’s website.

Toronto - Traffic Services

Traffic Sgt. Tim Burrows at the Toronto Police department is on top of the social media conversation, and maintains the Twitter account: @TrafficServices. Sgt. Burrows “gets” how to use twitter.  He contributes to other blogs, and speaks about social media at conferences as well. Burrows uses Twitter to share traffic updates and efficiently move traffic around Toronto’s most congested areas. By advising drivers of traffic situations not only can citizens avoid time consuming traffic delays, but police are able to respond to emergency situations quicker as well.

Notifying the public about traffic situations is an overall part of the City’s mission to promote traffic safety.

“The Traffic Safety Programs section was created as a result of Traffic Safety being made a Service Priority by Chief Fantino in 2001.” - From the Toronto Police Department’s Traffic Services website.

Twitter such a powerful to for disseminating small but important updates to a mass amount of people – perfect for the Toronto Police Department’s Traffic Services.  The Twitter account @TrafficServices has close to 3,000 followers.

Australia – Drinking and Driving

Do you want an embarrassing and detailed description of yourself to be shared everyone following the Melbourne Police Department on Twitter? If not, perhaps you should think twice about taking that next drink and going for a drive around one of Australia’s most populated districts.

Victoria Police have used twitter to discourage drunk drivers by tweeting detailed description of their cars, as well as descriptions of drivers themselves.

Example of a tweet from @VictoriaPolice: “Idiot 1 - A 42yo man from Stony Creek. He blew .17 after police caught him driving down the wrong side of the Sth Gippsland Hgwy in Berwick.”

Police have undertaken this initiative using social media to reach out young drivers as well. They recognize drinking and driving is a major problem among the younger generation, and what a better way to connect with young people than social media – a web space in which teens and young adults live.

“Many young people use Twitter on their mobile phones, even when they’re out drinking and socializing,” he said. “If posting the details of bad behavior on Twitter stops even one person from getting in their car and driving drunk, it will be worth it.” - Read full article.

Denton Police (Unofficial) - Mugshots

The Denton Police department has benefited from Twitter and the TwitPic feature. You can post pictures using TwitPic through the site itself, or even using your phone. The link to the picture (TwitPic) appears in your tweet, thus making it to view and share.

@DentonPolice account is strictly devoted deterring crime through posting crime description, suspect description, and most important the suspect’s mugshot. TwitPic allows for easy sharing and viewing of the mug shots.  Even if you do not have a Twitter Account, your picture (mugshot) might be infront of the almost 2,000 followers – If you’re a wanted or recently captured criminal in Denton, that is!

The Twitter ID @DentonPolice is not an official Denton Police account.  It was created by Brian Baugh, a  student at the University of North Texas. Although, the student has been asked to take down the page since he not an official of the Dention PD, he has chosen not to do so due to its popularity. It is all legal as well, as Baugh is simply re-sharing what is public information already.

The account bio reads: “The unofficial Denton Mugshot twitter for Denton, Texas. Programmed by a UNT art photography student, drawing attention to how much public info we put online.”

The Twitter account doesn’t have to be official to humiliate criminals and deter criminal activity in the city of Denton.

Social Media for Emergency and Disaster Management: A Crash Course

New social media is bringing people and communities together faster than any communication medium in history. Although, many citizens are tied into social media, those who serve and protect our communities (police departments, fire and rescue, etc..) have been reluctant to implement the technology. Whether it is due a lack of knowledge on the subject, a negative perception of social media as a whole, or just because they don’t know where to get started, social media has progressed slowly in the emergency services industry. We hope to change this!

DailySplice will be sponsoring an upcoming webinar to educate first responder agencies on new social media. It will detail the aspects of new social media and the value and benefits associated with integrating it into an effective communications strategy.

Social Media for Emergency and Disaster Management: A Crash Course
Wednesday August 19, 2009
1:00 - 1:30 PM Pacific Time (4:00 – 4:30 PM Eastern Time)
Chris Burge – President, of BWest Interactive

Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

This webinar is a part of our overall initiative to educate and inform public safety authorities on new social media.  As we continue our campaign we will regularly update our blog to keep followers up to date. This an exciting project for us, and we hope we can make a difference!

If you know anyone else who would be interested in this topic, kindly forward the registration link to them. – Bringing Together New Social Media and Public Safety.

It is saying nothing new when we mention social media is everywhere in our communities these days. Then how come those who serve and protect our communities – like police departments – are slow in implementing and keeping up with such technologies? There is no doubt about the communication efficiencies attached to new social media, and also the value of information sharing within the realm of Emergency Services. So where is the middle ground? What are the potential benefits? How can these potential benefits be realized?

I came across this interesting website about social media and public safety which answers these questions.

At, you can read everything Law Enforcement - social media - oriented. It really merges the gap between Web 2.0 technologies and the Emergency Services industry. From valuable blogs, to industry news and articles, to relevant links, this website is rich in content and covers a wide array of issues regarding new social media and its application within Public Safety Services.

For example, the post “Big Brother vs. public safety,” under the “Critical Incidents” section, outlines the need for Police Authorities to monitor and stay on top of Twitter during events leading up to a protest, although it may seem like a form of Big Brother.

Check out the “Featured” page for interesting posts, “Critical Incidents” for thought provoking articles, or click a link under “Blogroll” to listen to a police podcast or keep up with the LAPD Blog.

This website is a really good example for how new social media is expanding into every facet of our communities. I look forward to keeping up with and discovering other pioneer sites as they develop.

The founders of the website include freelance writer and social media consultant, Christa M. Miller, and sworn Law Enforcement Officer, Scott D. White.

Crash Course in Social Media Assists Fire and Police Address Privacy Concerns

Crash Course in Social Media Assists Fire and Police Address Privacy Concerns

Short Summary: Online Webinar Series assists First Responders learn about which social media tools to use for public information hubs and emergency communications. A professional development series outlines privacy concerns and gives examples of appropriate use.

Victoria, BC, (July 29, 2009) – DailySplice, developer of the Podcast Station multimedia manager for streaming video and audio web content, has launched an online educational initiative for Police and Fire departments. The professional development series is for police and fire departments to learn and apply social media tools.

“Social media is a hot button. First Responders need reliable information about what tools make sense for them with budget and privacy constraints,” says DailySplice CEO, Rian Bowden.

The first in a series of webinars was delivered by Social Media Guru and Web Strategist, Chris Burdge of who discussed the application of new media in the First Responder industry. Burdge detailed real world applications of social media and examples of where technology such as podcasting has been used effectively.

The session was facilitated Bev McPhee, Professor of Communications at Royal Roads University, who said “Our goal with this series is to inform and educate. Social media is improving communications everywhere in today’s community, and extending the role of public relations into emergency services is a natural progression though there are privacy pitfalls that first responders should be aware of.” McPhee also emphasized the importance of using social media to disseminate public safety information to increase emergency preparedness and engage stakeholders.

Bowden concluded by saying that Saanich Police and the View Royal Fire Department both use the Podcast Station as a key component in their social media strategy. Dailysplice and e continue our strategy to educate and enlighten those in the emergency services industry.”

To register for free webinars, contact Mike Waraich, Marketing Coordinator, DailySplice Technologies at +1 (866) 334-3958

About DailySplice Technologies Inc

DailySplice is a leading developer of online multimedia management tools to make streaming audio and video content easy and quick for the non-developer. Users create an aggregated playlist of various podcasts either supplied by third parties or can broadcast their own content on custom branded Podcast Station™ based on the preferences of their target audience. The Podcast Station allows audio updates by cellphone and creates detailed analytics report so users can continuously monitor and assess the needs of their market. DailySplice augments its client offering with a free podcast directory with over 100,000 well-organized audio and video clips.


Email to Register for Emergency Services Social Media Webinars

Mike Waraich, Marketing Coordinator

DailySplice Technologies Inc.


+1 (866) 334-3958

The Five Most Popular Social Media Tools for Fire Departments

Social Media has exploded on the internet yet emergency responders have been slow to adopt this new media. What are the tools that Fire departments can use to get the message out during an emergency event? Each social media tool has a purpose and role – and may or may not be appropriate in all situations. But – let’s be clear, “new” and social media tools are here to stay – so learning about them is and taking your place in the conversation is a must for fire departments. Traditional tools like e-mail and the press conference still have a role but what are the most popular “new” media options for public information officers?

1.CounterAct Rumors with Micro-blogging

Micro blogging is a micro blast or sound bit of information. It is used when a short message is all that is needed and no interpretation or details needed.

Main Street closed at Smith until 16:00 on June 7 due to traffic accident. Take alternate route.

95 characters with spaces

It can also be used to convey real information from the official source so the public doesn’t rely on rumors. Though – it is important to have a single person who understands the media as the “instant” nature can be a negative if your message is not sufficiently clear in the 140 characters available to you.

2.Send URGENT Messages with Broadcast Text Messaging

Broadcast text messaging is typically reserved for the emergency events that require responders to get an URGENT message to the population. An example would be a Tsunami warning. The warning goes to everyone in an affected area via a text message to their cell phone.

The Cry Wolf Factor: It is important to note if you broadcast text media for NON URGENT events like traffic re-routing or day to day information about the fires in the city – your audience will tune out. The ability to reach the public by their cell phone is a powerful tool - Use it wisely.

3.Blog to Create a Following

Just like publishing articles or having a by-line in the local paper – without the editor between you and the public. Blogging is an easy way to get the fire departments message out. However, blogging is best reserved to tell a story and create a community with careful thought to content. Blogging during an event is a powerful tool as long as your blogs are carefully crafted and supportive of the overall story your followers have come to expect.

4.Create a Public Information Podcast Hub

Fire departments are increasingly turning to multimedia to get their message out? Why? Because audio and video content is more interesting for their public and interesting content means website visitors will stay longer and be exposed to your messaging longer.

A Podcast series is like having your own on-line radio station as a public information hub. Multimedia or audio or video content also known as podcasts are a tool of choice to augment text based tools. According to a study in Public Relations Review (Eyrich et al, 2008)[i], 35% of public relations practitioners use podcasts. Podcasts are effective media during a crisis when writing time is limited and the spoken word or video can be used to communicate more effectively than text.

5.Use Podcasting During Emergency Events

How else can you use podcasts? Fire Department multimedia podcasting during emergency events is used by the View Royal Fire Department in Canada to get the word out during an emergency event to the media and stakeholders including city officials, so the Fire Chief can deal with the emergency.

Podcasting no longer requires special streaming to preserve bandwidth or technical skills. Tools like DailySplice’s Podcast Station™ host the content on their own servers making the tool available to most sites and do not carry ads like YouTube video content.

Using new and social media is not free – fire departments need to commit time to create an effective communications strategy. As always – start with a plan and ask “what are we trying to accomplish?”, “who will maintain the information”, and “how will we measure success?” Then choose an easy to use tool that matches your goals.


New Media Tools for Emergency Services Communicators

Nina Eyrich, Monica L. Padman, Kaye D. Sweetser, PR practitioners’ use of social media tools and communication technology, 2008, Grady College, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, United States