14 Dec 2015

York St John students join forces with North Yorkshire Police to promote a safer Christmas

Business Management students have been working with North Yorkshire Police communications department on their Twitter campaign around Christmas safety.

YSJ police TwitterAs part of their Digital Business Communication module students were looking at strategies to develop effective internal and external operational communications. They explored a range of tools, models and strategies and Tom Stirling, Digital Communications Manager at North Yorkshire Police, came into a student session to look at North Yorkshire Police’s use of social media.

Mark Dransfield, Senior Lecturer in Business Management, said: “One of the unique things about this module is that I engage with several partners in industry in order to give more meaning and a direct relevance to the theories we look at. This year I have worked with Portakabin and North Yorkshire Police (NYP).

“I chose NYP because they have a great social media profile, are very active and have won awards for their social media activities.”

Students were asked to develop a campaign for a tweet chat, a live chat – typically an hour long - held on Twitter. Participants use a hash tag to engage with and follow the conversation and tweet chats are often moderated with moderators asking up to six questions to prompt engagement.

Students’ ideas for the police campaign included themes of student safety, preventing burglary and safe driving.

Tom Stirling, Digital Communications Manager at North Yorkshire Police, said: “It was a pleasure to talk to the students about how we use social media to publicise crime prevention advice, appeal for witnesses to incidents, search for missing people and much more.

“Social media is an excellent way to engage with our communities, and it was great to see the group respond so enthusiastically to what we do.

“The students came up with some fantastic ideas about the use of Twitter that we can take forward and develop in the future, so it was a very worthwhile session for all involved.”

Based on their presentations, Tom has asked some of the students to work with him and his colleagues to design and deliver a live tweet chat to share crime prevention and personal safety advice as part of the police’s wider Christmas safety campaign. The chat will take place later this month.

North Yorkshire Police has almost 50,000 followers on Twitter with thousands more people following local accounts dedicated to roads policing, firearms licensing and student safety. In an average week, 250,000 people will read a post by North Yorkshire Police on Facebook.