1.0 Introduction It is quite evidence that historically around the world, there have been few major shifts in the way people communicate to the society, today this shifts is occurring very fast due to the use of social media. Social media is everywhere and it is quite observable that everyone seems to be connected to at least one social media. With the ever growing trends been exhibited in the use of social media, police have realized the advantages linked to this kind of communication towards achieving a substantial community policing (Agranoff, 2007).
Research indicate that social media is changing the way information is been passed by the police force all over the world. It is quite evident that the rapid growths of blogs, face book, twitter and various other social networking which are also highly aided by the use of mobile technology is changing police force operation in Australia. Today, social media is acting as a major tool that is constantly offering a new way for both citizens and police forces to pass information across. For instance, Queensland is usually considered as a battered state which has been smashed, hammered and flooded especially in recent times.
The use of social media was exhibited during the crisis that involves a cyclone, the government through the use of police force effectively used social media to pass on information to the affected people (Agranoff, 2007). As part of avoiding misinformation about the cyclone, police stepped forward to manage social media. It is due to this reason that this paper will focus on developing a policy that indicates how social media might be used by police forces as an innovative measure in achieving proper communication.
1.1 Benefits and problems of social media for government based departmentsAs time goes by, it is quite evidence that most governments are gradually using social media tools for communication purposes. In order to fully understand the benefits and problem of using social media, it is important we understand what social media is (Bingham & Nabatchi, 2005). Social media is defined as the use of internet based tool so as to interact with several individuals. Some of the common social media tools been used across the world are face book, twitter, MySpace, blogs and YouTube.
1.1.1. Benefits of social mediaIt is quite evidence that the huge growth in social media is taking place since it comprises a set of tools that fuels social communication. It is through the use of this tool, government departments are able to use human network more easily, expects interactive communication as opposed to broadcasted communication, it gives them the power not only by use of text but also audio and video and finally, it is able to rely on various measures and objectives which highly facilitates communication.
Social media in government institutions is considered as powerful since it widely supports two way interactive communications. Today, people want easy aces to information where they are able to obtain instant feedback (Bingham & Nabatchi, 2005). Another major benefit of social media by government departments is minimal cost is incurred as opposed to use of broadcast information. The government is able to channel the cost it would have rather used in communicating to other key economic areas. Other key notable benefits of social media are; democratization of media, increased transparency in organizations and government operations, sharing and connection within communities and finally remix and creativity among different cultures.