Social Media Strategy: Virtual Social Media Working Group and DHS First Responders Group   [open pdf - 3MB]

"The VSMWG [virtual social media working group] developed this document with input from the public safety community through online engagement hosted on the DHS First Responder Communities of Practice portal and through online discussions via other social media channels between February and August of 2011. It is intended for use by all public safety disciplines and all types of agencies to better understand and utilize social media and other Web-based tools without having to 'reinvent the wheel' or spend hours searching for examples or policy templates or use cases. This document provides a high-level introduction to social media and its benefits for public safety, examples and best practices from agencies already using social media, and serves as a starting point for developing an agency's detailed social media strategy. The VSMWG has also developed a Next Steps document as follow up to this Social Media Strategy, which provides considerations and detailed next steps for public safety agencies on developing and implementing social media. The purpose of this document is to: [1] Provide an introduction and general understanding of how social media and Web‐based technologies can be used for public safety in a strategic way; [2] Provide best practices and use cases for agencies that are interested in developing social media programs within their agencies; and [3] Introduce the use of social media for public safety and provide additional materials regarding the challenges associated with implementing social media into existing methods (for more on this, see: 'Next Steps')."

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