Police Scotland was officially formed in April 2013. Previously, Scotland was mainly policed by eight groups. Additional help was provided by the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency as well as the Association of Chief Police Officers. Police Scotland is responsible for policing the entire country of Scotland as a united police unit. The coverage zone is currently 28,168 miles. It is the second largest police force in the U.K. behind England’s Metropolitan Police Service. Police officers, police staff, and special constables make up most of the force. Chief Constable Stephen House leads Police Scotland with a team of elite officers that make up his command team. (“About Us”.)
The purpose of Police Scotland is to maintain the safety and welfare of citizens, locations, and communities across Scotland. It is subdivided into 14 police divisions, each of which is run by a local commander. Each of these leaders must ensure their district’s operations are tailored to the specific population’s needs. (“About Us”)
Strengths: Police Scotland’s amount of Facebook and Twitter likes could attract a large audience if the campaign is planned right. Additionally, the fact that it has governmental authority to an extent could be used to its advantage. If there are additional tools or finances needed, Police Scotland has a good chance of securing them.
Weaknesses: Government association is a good thing in some regards, but could hurt them in a social media campaign like this. Often times, government social media struggles to engage users. The White House and presidential campaigns are examples of exemptions to that rule. If it was a more involved campaign like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, it could work. Numerous government officials and groups participated in that and attracted a lot of engagement. However, Police Scotland’s campaign is not as broad, and it isn’t about something that takes over social media.
Opportunities: Social media provides a cost-effective way of spreading a message if it is used effectively.
Threats: The topic isn’t exactly click-bait. A lack of engagement and interest is a possibility with this kind of a campaign.
The #BeatDoorstepCrime campaign is a nationwide campaign that aimed to reduce doorstep crime, prevent future crimes, and detect the scam artists responsible. Doorstep crime involves scam artists preying on vulnerable citizens such as the elderly or disabled with illegal schemes designed to obtain personal information. This happens most often by phone or on the internet. However, the main focus is on the crimes committed by scammers visiting the residence of their targets and posing as someone offering services. (“Beat Doorstep Crime…”)
Some of the more specific messages Police Scotland’s marketers wanted to get out via this campaign:
-If there is any doubt, it is better to be safe and block entry.
-Keep all entrances locked.
-Use a bar or a door chain.
-If callers have no appointment, it is important to not let them in.
-Citizens should always ask for identification.
-Large sums of money should not be stored inside a home.
-Doors and windows should remain locked.
-Neighbors should look out for one another.
-Citizens should not hesitate to report suspicious activity and Police Scotland officers encourage anyone who feels unsafe to call emergency personnel.
This campaign’s target audience was split into two groups. The primary audience was listed as the vulnerable people and the elderly. The primary age for victims of the crime is 60 years of age and older, and 31% of Scotland’s population is over 60 years of age. Police Scotland’s main goal was to bring awareness to the issue, as many elderly people are simply unaware that this kind of crime exists. That’s what makes them a prime target for scammers. Police Scotland hoped this would provide prevention education and also help give citizens some faith in the relatively new police organization. (“Beat Doorstep Crime…”)
A secondary audience comprised of influencers was established in attempt to widen the reach. The marketers believed it was advantageous to target family members of the scam targets so that the message might reach those who initially escaped the reach of the campaign. The hope was that family members could help their affected loved ones understand what to look for and avoid. Additionally, it was hoped that family members could help identify instances where this may have already happened and that their affected loved ones would learn how to report any offenders. (“Beat Doorstep Crime…”)
Goals & Reach
Police Scotland kicked off the four-week campaign on September 25, 2015. It was a multifaceted campaign that included paid activity, continuous social media presence, public relations efforts, and other digital aspects. Those in charge of the campaign used several mediums in addition to social media. This primarily included radio, newspapers, and social media. (“Beat Doorstep Crime…”)
Radio advertisements aired five days per week across ten different radio networks. Advertisements in the press were placed strategically in publications that would reach the primary and secondary target audiences. Marketers prepared an advertising package that targeted local publications, as the target audience was citizens of Scotland. This established visibility for the campaign audience. According to Police Scotland, the package had a reach of 1.4 million people, which equated to the 32% of adults in their overall jurisdiction. In addition, it reached 53% of Scottish adults above 60 years of age. Posters, pamphlets, and books were sent to the individual divisions to help spread the word. Additionally, marketers challenged owners and writers for local organizations to get involved in the conversation. To top it off, Police Scotland attempted to mobilize the citizens to persuade the media to cover this issue. (“Beat Doorstep Crime…”)
Social media was very important to the marketers’ plan during this campaign. The campaign toolkit specified that there was a full social media plan containing content that could be shared on various social media channels. Social media users were encouraged to share the content and participate. A list of tweets was provided that citizens could use if they did not want to follow Police Scotland’s channels. Starting the conversation with original tweets was highly encouraged, especially when it involved the hashtag #BeatDoorstepCrime. (“Beat Doorstep Crime…”)
The following pre-written tweets are provided for social media users to post, share, and discuss:
- We’re backing @PoliceScotland’s campaign to #BeatDoorstepCrime. It wouldn’t be a nice feeling if someone you knew was a victim #BogusCallers
- Across Scotland, from 1/8/14 &13/2/15, more than 1000+ doorstep crime incidents & £400,000 taken from victims. Help us #BeatDoorstepCrime.
- @PoliceScotland’s #BeatDoorstepCrime campaign raises awareness of a crime which impacts many vulnerable members of our community… (tweet 1 of 2)
- #BogusCaller victims are often too embarrassed to go to @PoliceScotland, fearing loss of independence & facing financial uncertainty (tweet 2 of 2)
- @PoliceScotland’s #BeatDoorstepCrime campaign has launched. What’s it about? This video explains all: http://bit.ly/1AJ9xeN Pls RT
- Do you know how to #BeatDoorstepCrime? Share @PoliceScotland’s info with loved ones/neighbours/vulnerable community: http://bit.ly/1ATXxX0
- Keep safe from #boguscallers – via @PoliceScotland: http://bit.ly/1B4jG4W. How would you feel if you knew the victim? #BeatDoorstepCrime
- The @policescotland website has a full range of practical safety information to help #BeatDoorstepCrime: http://bit.ly/1ATXxX0
- – Help @PoliceScotland #BeatDoorstepCrime. It’s a despicable crime, which targets those most vulnerable: http://bit.ly/1ATXxX0
- Worth a look – an effective awareness video for #BeatDoorstepCrime. A simple message: if in doubt – keep them out: http://bit.ly/1AJ9xeN
- Visiting elderly relatives or friends this week? Please share our campaign info with them and #BeatDoorstepCrime: http://bit.ly/1AJ9xeN
- Simple message! If in doubt, keep them out! Look after the vulnerable in our community. http://bit.ly/1ATXxX0 #BeatDoorstepCrime
- How can you tell if the caller at your door is genuine? Advice can be found here http://bit.ly/1ATXxX0 #BeatDoorstepCrime
- Advice from @policescotland on how to #BeatDoorstepCrime: http://bit.ly/1ATXxX0 Print off window cards for vulnerable family & neighbours.
- Do you know about @policescotland’s nominated neighbour scheme? Help others stay safe: http://bit.ly/1ATXxX0 #BeatDoorstepCrime
- @PoliceScotland has #NoColdCallers window&door materials. Organise nominated neighbour for loved ones/neighbours: http://bit.ly/1ATXxX0
- Bogus caller victims are often unaware they are targets. As a neighbour, friend or family – help those vulnerable to #BeatDoorstepCrime (tweet 1 of 2)
- See anything suspicious at neighbours’ property pls report it to us on 999. If in doubt, keep them out! Help us beat #BeatDoorstepCrime (tweet 2 of 2)
- Intimidation & confusion tactics – imagine you knew a victim? Become a nominated neighbour: http://bit.ly/1ATXxX0 #BeatDoorstepCrime
- #BeatDoorstepCrime – never let anyone suspicious into your home. Check out our campaign ad: http://bit.ly/1B4jG4W.
Tweets (Not All Displayed Here)
There are approximately 2.7 million Twitter users worldwide over the age of 65 and 4.1 million users between the ages of 55-64 (Adweek). Police Scotland tweeted about the campaign 28 times over the course of four weeks and retweeted eight different tweets composed by organizations and citizens.
The campaign struggled to gain wind. Crime figures for the time period have not been released, so it is not completely evident if there was success in that regard. In terms of discussion on social media, there was very little success. Police Scotland has over 96,000 Twitter followers and none of its tweets from the campaign passed 27 retweets. In comparison, Police Scotland has 184,715 Facebook likes and didn’t pass 24,000 views.
Two posts related to the campaign were posted to the Police Scotland Facebook account. Both included videos in which citizens were talking about doorstep crime. The lack of usage of Facebook signified a missed opportunity considering the demographics of Facebook users. Approximately 45% of males and females 65 years old and older use Facebook. 60% of people in the 50-64 age group use Facebook (Guimarães). America and Scotland are different, but the statistics for American Facebook users in recent years highlight a shift in Facebook user demographics. In 2011, there were more than 15 million Facebook users over 55 years of age. By 2014, it rose to 28 million users (Neal). The two posts accumulated 23,833 views as of November 13, 2015.
There are approximately 2.7 million Twitter users worldwide over the age of 65 and 4.1 million users between the ages of 55-64 (Adweek) . Police Scotland tweeted about the campaign 28 times over the course of four weeks and retweeted eight different tweets composed by organizations and citizens.
SocialMention detected very little discussion about the campaign.
In terms of activity metrics, Police Scotland’s marketing team made a few good choices. Although a lot of planning was put into the campaign, the team did a good job avoiding excessively frequent tweets. The campaign tweets were spaced out between tweets relating to other subjects. The toolkit made it clear that the content was pre-prepared and it appeared to be crafted with regard to timing. (Tuten & Solomon)
There was no real boost in followers as a result from the campaign. Some helpful statistics Police Scotland could use to measure the campaign’s social media success are retweets, mentions related to the subject, and usage of the hashtag. It will show the team that the reach is not reaching full capability. The amount of followers and Facebook likes compared to the interaction metrics data should be concerning. (Tuten & Solomon)
It will be difficult to measure a return until statistics regarding crime during and after the campaign are released. A goal was to spread awareness, and Police Scotland may have done its job from that standpoint using the radio and newspaper advertisements. However, the main goal is to reduce and prevent doorstep crime, so that will be the main return the marketing team will want to pay attention to when determining success. (Tuten & Solomon)
“About US.” About Us – Police Scotland. Police Scotland, n.d. Web.
Adweek. “Number of Twitter Users in The United States as of January 2015, by Age Group (in Millions).” Statista – The Statistics Portal. Statista. 15 Nov 2015.
“Beat Doorstep Crime Toolkit.” Police Scotland. Police Scotland, 2015. Web.
Guimarães, Thiago. “REVEALED: A Breakdown Of The Demographics For Each Of The Different Social Networks.” Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 09 Mar. 2015. Web.
Neal, Ryan W. “Facebook Gets Older: Demographic Report Shows 3 Million Teens Left Social Network In 3 Years.” International Business Times. IBT Media Inc., 16 Jan. 2014. Web.
Tuten, Tracy L., and Michael R. Solomon. Social Media Marketing. Boston: Pearson, 2013. Print.