When it comes to having slick, engaging, websites, the last type of organization we would think of is a local police department. Meanwhile, they arguably have some of the more engaging content: real life stories of suspense, murder, heroism. The opportunity is there to leverage this emotionally-charged sector to create community confidence and attract new recruits without coming across as distasteful or out of touch with reality.
The Milwaukee Police Department has understood the power of virtual storytelling to merchandise their force to the community at large. They are on the front lines of the most relevant local news and thus have an opportunity to demonstrate their leadership in bringing that news to its sought conclusion. Using their digital home as the vehicle to show this is genius because it shows your capability and actions in real-time. Moreover, a forum for local story development allows the community to get involved (a bit like a TV action series) which could activate truly valuable leads.
Another brilliant aspect of their website is its design – truly being inspired by the film and gaming industries. The graphics are so polished and the information delivery reads like the headlines of a season finale of a highly-liked sitcom. This approach is smart because it makes the content addictive, engaging people to come back to “see the conclusion”. In other words, the site starts to become a destination for entertainment not just information – I guess you could say the site is a best-practice in digital infotainment!
As the guys from Adverblog said, “it feels like you are watching a movie” (read here). Too true. The way that the content is served up, you start to become fans of the main characters (the real cops). As such, the site also helps create affinity and love for the boots on the ground. This is critical for the success of any police department. Overall, this is hands down the smartest digital thinking I’ve seen used by a police department, or even any local public sector organization. Brilliant. Here is their website to check out – http://www.milwaukeepolicenews.com/