Boston Police’s Spokeswoman Helped Ring the Bell for the Twitter IPO
— Reuters Pictures (@reuterspictures) November 7, 2013
Boston police spokeswoman Cheryl Fiandaca, helped ring the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange this morning, at the invitation of Twitter, which, if you haven’t seen the news, was having something of a big-deal IPO this morning. According to the Boston Globe:
Twitter said Fiandaca, actor Patrick Stewart, and 9-year-old activist Vivienne Harr, were “very different people,” but had one thing in common: “they use Twitter in amazing ways.” Twitter said the department’s tweets served as “a lifeline of communication for the entire city, and served as a defense against miscommunication” during the uncertain days after the April 15 bombings
It’s not the first time the Department’s use of social media throughout the hunt for the Marathon attackers has been lauded. After Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured, social media news site Mashable ran the headline, “Boston Police Schooled Us All on Social Media.” The Huffington Post went with, “How Cop Team Tweets Led City From Terror To Joy.”
As Jared Keller wrote for Bloomberg Businessweek, the first official confirmation that Tsarnaev had been captured came not via press conference, but over Twitter.
CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody.
— Boston Police Dept. (@bostonpolice) April 20, 2013
That law enforcement agencies such as the Boston Police and Massachusetts State Police took to social media to deliver information in the wake of the twin explosions on Boylston Street is nothing special … What is unusual is how adroitly the officials in charge of responding to the Boston tragedy took advantage of social media, from the first explosion until now. Unlike other big-city police departments, Boston has been investing in its police department’s social media presence for years. The department’s Twitter account was created in 2009 at the behest of Daly and was first used to publish public safety instructions during the St. Patrick’s Day parade.
No wonder then that Twitter wanted to highlight how the Department uses their product at exactly the moment the rest of the country is watching. They want their company to be known as a place people look not just for bad jokes from reporters but for need-to-know information.