Hit or Miss?: Greater Manchester Police's one-day Twitter feed

Bobbies on the tweet: For one day only, Greater Manchester Police set up a new Twitter feed listing every single incident lodged with the force.

From 5am on 14 October to 5am the next morning, the force posted 3,205 updates, including details of 341 arrests. The feed also shed light on the more curious incidents the force has to deal with on a daily basis - such as call 674: 'Confused man reporting his TV not working.'


To see a police Twitter feed detailing all incidents in a 24-hour period as the third top story on BBC online was puzzling.

With so much in the news - from Chilean miners to spending cuts - why should a one-day gimmick possibly merit such prominence? But then it struck me. The Bill never featured calls about 'cows on the road in Bolton'.

Had the stunt received no coverage, then there would have been no followers and it would have been consigned to the dustbin of history. Instead, it got cut-through and pick-up - the two most precious gifts in the PR repertoire.

It successfully demonstrated the depth, breadth, weirdness and banality of calls - all of which are normally hidden from the public.

This is what the best public sector PR is all about: cheap; quirky; innovative; transparent and interests the public - HIT.

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