Salinas Police: Building Trust, Recruiting Great People

Boots Road treats us as if we are their only client. Spencer and his team help us inform our community with a voice that is both positive and transparent and they keep their finger on the pulse of media activity. They are an invaluable asset to our Police team!
Chief Adele Fresé, Salinas Police Department

SPD Media Overview

The Salinas Police Department is at the forefront of community policing, an approach based on building a partnership between police and the people they protect.

It means that trust is not just a matter of “good PR” — it’s a strategic priority for public safety. It also means this growing department can attract more and better recruits.

Building trust is what drives our work for the Department in media relations, social media, web development, and content production. Our approach is based on transparency, accessibility, and using creativity to increase impact.

Just one indication of its effectiveness: dramatic year-over-year growth in the social media community — in reach (now rivalling local media outlets), engagement, and positive sentiment.

 

Here’s a look at Facebook follower growth over the past two years.

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And this is an example of the ratio of positive (green), neutral (yellow), and negative (red) stories across all media, including social media, during a representative period.

 

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We emphasize that these results reflect the reality that this is an excellent police department — as we often say, “If you want a good story, have a good truth.”

We see our role as “giving the truth a fighting chance” — helping it cut through the noise, get noticed, and be remembered.

Recruiting

Recently the Salinas Police Department has been working to grow both the size and diversity of its force, seeking especially to attract more women, Latinos, and people of all kinds, many of whom may not have realized they would make good officers.

This means getting past stereotypes about police work, which requires empathy and a desire to serve as much as it does courage and a desire for exciting challenges.

So we designed a campaign around the theme Real People Making a Rea Difference. It included video, social media, public relations, a billboard, events, and a sophisticated online ad buy, targeted and delivered with the assistance of digital media buying firm Mogo Interactive.

The campaign delivered more impact than any previous recruiting effort by the Salinas PD.

That included nearly 700 new contacts from Facebook Lead Ads, which were just one among many channels of communication.