One of my favorite projects of my professional career so far has to be working with the Regina Police Service. I was hired to help with their marketing, in the months leading up to the project the Regina Police were really making a name for themselves and it was time to capitalize on their newly found online fame.
Kaeli Decelles, the personality behind the amazing social media presence, simply gets it. Kaeli understands how to keep an electric personality consistent throughout all online communications for an organization. She came and spoke to my Marketing class, the students loved her. She’s just a ray of sunshine.
Kaeli does have an inspiring leader to look up to in the media relation unit though. Elizabeth Popowich is one of the best communicators I’ve ever met. She understands the Police Service and their role in society probably the best, you can see it in her work and how she approaches problems. From Paul Alofs fascinating read Passion Capital, Elizabeth would be considered a Passion Capitalist. Exactly the person you want on your team.
The infamous trio wouldn’t be who they are without the man Les Parker. Talk about talent. He’s the guy that created their brand new website. Look below! Not only that, Les does design, some social media, knows Photoshop, video shooting and editing, animation, etc. Pretty much every skill-set that is extremely valuable right now and into the future.
See, they have the dream team!
I learned a lot from these guys and will continue to do so.
Complete with interactive crime maps that change based on your selections.
Kaeli always told me that it’s really easy to be passionate about her job. The RPS has a lot of people working there who are full of passion, wanting to make a difference, love their job, and were a huge asset to the service. It was such a refreshing attitude.
She was right.
What I found was an amazingly humble organization. Sometimes their job is emotionally taxing and you can see it wearing on people. The way they’re treated by a small portion of society makes their job seem unbearable at times. To me that is. To them it’s just another day at the office. The relentless attitude of service, the wanting to make the city a better place, the deep down desire to help other people. That’s what it means to be a part of the Regina Police Service.
The only thing we thought we could really help the RPS with was trying to change the core culture of what it means to be a member of the Regina Police Service. To change the core messaging to reflect who they really are. And, once everyone begins to understand who they are What an honour.
Step 1: Find out who they are. Trying to figure out how to help their communications in the best way possible I started interviewing people. Talking to people from all different departments and ranks, from the top row to the front line. It was fascinating to say the least. An insiders view of who the Regina Police Service actually is. An eye opening experience.
This is by far the most important part of the project.
Step 2: Define the win. They didn’t need help on external communication whatsoever, Elizabeth understands how to communicate on behalf of a public organization who comes under scrutiny regularly. It’s never the easy or obvious thing to do and it’s never exactly the problem you were hired for.
Together we (Kaeli, Les, Elizabeth, and myself) decided that the best way to help the Regina Police Service communications was to help redefine what their core values, vision and mission were. Frankly, the statements they had did not do them justice for who the Police really were.
We looked at over 30 Police Departments from all over the world. The Social Media accounts, their websites, how they communicated, and how they articulated their core vision. The best Police departments stood out for a clean website, great YouTube or Twitter presence and more importantly a clear core strategy. Sites Like Seattle Police, Victoria Police, Winnipeg Police Departments YouTube channel, and West-Midlands Police in the UK.
Police Departments From All Over The World
We also looked at a bunch of companies Vision, Mission, and Core Values. As well some ideas from the books Built To Last, Good To Great, Great By Choice, Winning, Made To Stick
It seemed like the RPS needed something more inspiring, memorable, and simple.
Step 3: Engage all the key stakeholders.
I’m bad at coming up with good ideas. But I’m great at coming up with bad ideas. I can happily say the final phrases we decided on, and approved by the Executive, were a combination of a bunch of different members of the RPS. Everyone needs to have a part of it or else they won’t believe in it, and that’s the most important part. You need to ensure you take into account everyone who cares. Yes everyone. Even if it’s as simple as asking for their opinion, to not to will be a grave long term mistake.
Step 4: Paint the picture of success, no matter how impossible is seems.
At one point, one person looked at me during an interview and said “so you guys are actually trying to change the vision and mission of the Regina Police Service?” to my reply, “yup”. Then handed him my business card which has this picture on it.
We had a good laugh and continued on track to change the internal messaging of the Police. Several times we questioned if it would ever work. There were times when it seemed impossible, but I’ve never been one to take what others say to me seriously. In our hearts we new it was the right thing to do, to help the RPS in the best way possible we had to change that core message.
And we did.
On June 19th 2013, the Police board of Commissionaires voted in favor of the new Mission, Vision and Core Values.
Here’s what they approved:
Simple, to the point, memorable. We couldn’t simplify the Mission and Vision any more. They reference precisely what the Regina Police Service are all about. And the Core Values also use the same first letters as Regina Police Service. (We can thank Kaeli for that one)
If you’re wondering what I’m talking about when I say that Kaeli is gold on Twitter, check out these:
If you are finding your “Irish roots” this weekend, make sure to call a cab, a DD, or stay at a friends house. The Irish love safety. #fact
— Regina Police (@reginapolice) March 15, 2013
**RADAR ALERT: In a School Zone** Yep, we’re out there. Slow down before you kill someone’s kid. #Kthx
— Regina Police (@reginapolice) May 6, 2013
This one made it to the front page of Reddit.