On Sunday, June 14th, a domestic violence support organization out of New York, Safe Horizon, launched the #PutTheNailinIt campaign. With the help of Arnold New York, a 30-second video was completed pro-bono for the campaign. The campaign encourages people to paint their ring finger's nail purple and if possible, donate to the Safe Horizon organization, to show support for putting an end to domestic violence, or more appropriately, putting the nail in it!
When I saw the news release about this campaign published in AdWeek, I knew two things needed to happen; First, my own department needed to do something to jump on board this campaign to show our support for domestic violence survivors. Second, a push needed to happen to get my fellow law enforcement social media managers on board to promote the campaign.
Is This Domestic Violence Month?
You might be asking yourself, "Is this domestic violence month?" Don't panic if you're thinking you haven't posted anything so far this month in support of DV month. You're not in trouble. However, we should remember that we always need to publish content on our social media platforms constantly to float above the clutter. That means posting information about topics important to our community, like domestic violence, as frequently as possible, whether its October or not. Awareness to this horrible crime needs to be spread like wildfire until it no longer exists.
For Some, A Difficult Topic To Post
After being a police officer for several years, it's difficult when I have to face our profession's downfalls or shortcomings. After all, we attend the police academy where we are constantly striving for perfection. Discipline in the form of push-ups is handed out for mistakes, regardless of how small they are, in an effort to teach us to be perfect, and our work to be perfect as well. There is no room for shoddy investigations or haphazard police work.
Where does this thinking or mindset come from you might ask? The public, that's who. I would say they hold us to a higher standard, but in these days, it's more along the lines of being demanded, and not held. It is us, the law enforcement officers, who need to hold ourselves to a higher standard.
What I am getting at, is the fact that law enforcement rates of domestic violence within our own ranks is startling high. This article in the Atlantic was hard to read because quite frankly, the author of the article, Conor Friedersdorf, made some very valid points. That's probably why he writes for the Atlantic and I write police reports, right?
So be prepared, if you are going to embrace this campaign. Our friends, Mr. Troll and Mrs. Keyboard Commando, might appear. Remember, to redirect any comments and sentiment back to the topic at hand, which is to show our support for the survivors and victims of domestic violence, regardless of who the suspects or the victims might be.
By the way, you might be wondering what that startling statistic of law enforcement officers committing domestic violence. It's any number above zero. We're police officers, which means we're the ones who domestic violence victims turn to for not only protection, but support as well.
How Did We Make Our Video?
Here's a little law enforcement social media training for you. In this video, I simply went around to my shift mates and dispatchers and told them I needed their help with something "cool." With a bottle of purple nail polish, we painted our nails purple, and I had them say something easy, which was "Nailed it!" For those who have ever spoken on camera before, anything over two to three words suddenly causes people to forget how to talk! It happens to all of us (Remember that first time talking on the police radio?).
After I had a handful of videos, I created a video with explaining how our department supports the campaign. I took all the videos and uploaded them into Apple iMovie, where I simply trimmed the videos down to the right spot and timing. Keep in mind, if you want this campaign to work on Twitter, you need to keep your video's maximum run time at 30 minutes.
Next, I used Apple Keynote to create a screen with the hashtag and website on it, for the end of the video. I uploaded this into iMovie as well and placed it at the end of the video. After I had trimmed all the videos, I created one final video, which I sent to my smart phone. From there, I published it on Twitter.
Some Other Helpful Tips
I'll create a more in-depth article on creating videos in the field and "on-the-fly," but until then, remember:
- Use a tripod for some shots
- Consider using a small whiteboard or teleprompter app
- Use an external microphone
- Check for the appropriate hashtags
So get out there and create a quick 30-second video to show your support at ending domestic violence, and just #PutTheNailinIt.