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    Online observations of public relations, marketing, advertising and social media; the occasional frivolity; and The Rundown show notes. Jump in, the water's fine.

    Please Note: Everything posted on this blog is my personal opinion and does not necessarily represent the views of my employer or its constituents.

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New Sheriff In Town: Social Media

badge.jpgPhoto by Bill Davenport

I love this. Police departments across the country are turning to social media sites and tools like YouTube to fight crime. AP writer Eric Tucker wrote this article about just that. While the police are hesitant to give too much credit to the application of these tools to catch criminals, they are still embracing this new media. This isn’t a new idea, just a fresh approach.

As I’m fond of saying, these tools are tactics, not strategies and – while some PR people and companies can’t often figure this out – these police departments have. From Tucker’s story:

“This is just something else – an extra added feature that we can now use to get our message out there on a countrywide or worldwide basis,” [Sgt. Michael Bentolila] said.

“I kind of applaud the fact that police are using the latest tools,” said Michael Brady, a retired police chief in Charlestown, R.I. who teaches criminal law and criminal procedure at Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I. “We tend to get stuck in technology deficits. We tend to want to stick with the old tried-and-true.”

And like I mentioned above, it’s no replacement for doing a traditional job well done. Whether you’re talking about good media relations, strategy planning, communication channel building with an influential public or keeping the peace, knowing which tactic best suits the task at hand is crucial.

“Technology,” [Patrolman Brian] Johnson said, “will never replace the feet-on-the-street.”

Agreed. For PR, technology will never replace good relationships. But it can make them easier to create…

Friday Frivolity – Star Wars parody

So I’m revealing a little of my inner geek today, but I couldn’t help it. Occasionally, you can stumble upon something on YouTube that strikes the funny bone in a way that surprises even you.

I’m a child of the 70s and 80s, so Star Wars is a big part of my life, and, well, my name is Luke. Do you know how many people I meet actually say to my face (heavy breathing) “Luke, I’m not your father” and then laugh like ninnies? 60% of them, I swear.

Anyway, here’s a little Star Wars clip from [adult swim], work-safe, but definitely geek revealing. Hilarious, though. Enjoy.

Feed readers can click here to get the vid.

Update: I love it when a Friday Frivolity actually produces useful news. Speaking of YouTube, Podzinger just announced that it now searches audio of YouTube videos. From the Podzinger blog:

“YouTube has garnered a huge amount of press and interest over the past year. Its reputation as a grass roots online forum for sharing is cemented by it being the driving force behind Time Magazine’s choice to name the online generated content user/owner as their Person of The Year. Now with this new PodZinger feature, you can access and search YouTube material allowing for more specific search of their user generated content. Now besides simply searching on the metadata of the video files, you can search for terms that are actually mentioned inside the audio, allowing for a greater likelihood you will find relevant material. We’re also automatically organizing the videos into channels based on the actual content of the video. Today you can narrow your search within entertainment, sports, and anime. And we’ll continue to add more.”

This is huge. If you’re not aware of Podzinger, you need to be as it’s a revolutionary product that allows you to search audio and video. I’ve used it quite a bit, and it’s not perfect, but it’s getting better and it’s a fantastic start to searchable audio.  Thanks to FIR for pointing me to this news. For more information about Podzinger, check out the site or this FIR interview or Managing the Gray interview.