International Association ofChiefs of Police Bureau of Justice Assistance U.S. Department of Justice Listening Strategy Fact Sheet What does listening online mean? to search. Or perhaps you will search the World Listening or monitoring is the continuous conduct of Wide Web for a broader view. Where you decide to searches of content on the Internet for any discussions, monitor will help you choose what monitoring tools posts, videos, blogs, and online conversations about you will employ. your department or other topics of interest to you. The • Decide what to monitor—Decide what you will purpose of listening is to discover what is being said be monitoring, and what topics you will be searching. online, raise awareness about the community, and put If your goal is to provide situational awareness oneself in a position to correct false information or during a disaster, you may search the name of your rumors. community or the name of the disaster (such asTo learn more about using these a hurricane name). If your goal is to monitor themonitoring tools, check out the Why should law enforcement care about listening mentions of your agency, your search term willtutorials available on the IACP online? contain your agency name. Some keyword ideas areCenter for Social Media at www. There are many benefits to listening on social media located in the sidebar.iacpsocialmedia.org/Resources/ToolsTutorials.aspx. channels, especially for law enforcement agencies. It is important to be aware of what is going on in and around Online listening toolsPossible search topics the community and what people are saying on the Internet Conducting these searches may seem daunting; however,• Name of agency about the agency, its municipality, its officers, or its events. there are many tools available to make the process• Name of municipality Monitoring can be incredibly valuable during a disaster easier.• Name of event or other large event, by providing law enforcement • Google Alerts—Instead of spending hours each day• Names of officers with situational awareness. Listening can also provide doing Internet searches, you can sign up for search information to guide resource allocation and other service results to be sent directly to you. Google Alerts or response efforts. Law enforcement agencies can join in are e-mail updates that contain the latest relevant conversations that the community is having about them, search results based on the terms you select. This but they must know where and what conversations are can save you valuable time and keep you up to date. going on. Social media monitoring allows agencies to have • Twitter Search—At Search.Twitter.com you can this knowledge so they can better represent themselves conduct and save a search of terms on Twitter. By or prepare for an event. Listening through social media using the advanced options you can easily refine channels can also assist in the mitigation of a criminal your search to the results that most closely meet event or disaster. your needs. You do not need a Twitter account to conduct or save a Twitter search. Defining a listening strategy • RSS Feeds—RSS, short for Really Simple Regardless of whether an agency decides to use social Syndication or Rich Site Summary, is a Web format media tools in an official capacity, they may choose to that allows for new content to be delivered directly incorporate monitoring into their activities. Having a to users. Instead of repeatedly visiting a Web site monitoring strategy is highly beneficial and can help to see if there is new content, users can subscribe guide agency efforts. to a site’s RSS feed, which allows for any new • Set goals—As with any strategy, you need to content to be sent directly to the user. To view set goals. What is it that you hope to achieve these RSS feeds a user must have a feed readerInternational by monitoring or listening? Perhaps you will such as Google Reader or Microsoft Outlook. TheseAssociation of employ a special monitoring strategy as part of readers organize the RSS feeds for easy viewing.Chiefs of Police disaster or other crisis response or in day-to-day Subscribing to RSS feeds can be very helpful to law communication efforts. enforcement agencies who want to stay informed1-800-THE-IACP • Decide where to monitor—Decide where you will about things happening in and around firstname.lastname@example.org.IACPsocialmedia.org gather information. Maybe your community is community. You can subscribe to the local news active on Twitter, so that will be a beneficial place feeds or to blogs written by community members.July 2011This project was supported by Grant No. 2009-MU-BX-K025 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureauof Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, the Community Capacity Development Office, and the Office of Sex OffenderSentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document do not necessarily represent the official positions or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.