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Posts Tagged ‘Seattle Police Department’

The PR Police Power of Self-Awareness During a Pot Festival

Effective PR requires two critical elements: knowing your audience and the ability to accept reality. Too often brands, celebrities and companies misidentify customer sentiment and lose any opportunity to create good will by being tone deaf, arrogant, or dishonest. (Or, in the case of Lance Armstrong, all three.)

So kudos to the Seattle Police Department, which—as we reported last week—implemented a uniquely audience-specific, creative and realistic Twitter campaign in anticipation of last weekend’s very public Hempfest. The celebration came on the heels of a ruling that legalized marijuana in the state of Washington last fall.

Knowing the penchant stoners have for snack foods, the Seattle Police Department handed out 1,000 free bags of Doritos sporting stickers informing participants that they shouldn’t drive while high or give weed to minors and—oh yeah—don’t forget to have fun, either. This isn’t polished marketing Geico green lizard PR. This is true public relations outreach. Here is the message the Seattle PD conveyed: We get you. Read more

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Friday Munchies: Seattle PD Gives Free PR to Frito-Lay at ‘Hempfest’

Boy oh boy, those sure do look like Scooby snacks.

Frito-Lay—or, more specifically, Dorito’s—received a bit of free viral PR this week via an unlikely source: the Seattle Police Department.

On Saturday the city will host its annual “Hempfest”, a gathering of like-minded people dedicated to making rope, oils and clothing from the world’s most naturally resistant fiber (we kid, we kid). Cops surveying the festival plan to hand out 1,000 bags of munchies in what the department is honestly calling “Operation Orange Fingers”. Said bags will each bear stickers urging attendees to visit the department’s Marijwhatnow page for more details of the 2012 laws which legalized simple possession of that one thing in Washington State.

We would mention that they’ll also arrest anyone found possessing more than the legal amount of weed or trying to drive while under the (obvious) influence, but we wouldn’t want to harsh your buzz. We’re more amused by the department’s Twitter responses:

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The Dream Is Over: San Francisco Bans Public Nudity

Photo via Associated Press This week in Local Government Relations: The times, they are a’ changin’–or are they? Just as the Seattle Police Department learned to love its citizens’ newfound embrace of a certain forbidden substance, the City of San Francisco‘s Board of Supervisors made an effort to curb the endless love-in by banning public nudity via a razor-thin 5-4 vote.

Has the decision divided Bay Area residents? Of course it has. Did dozens of advocates immediately stop in their tracks and strip down in protest? Of course they did.

As we learn more, we’re a little surprised by the depth of the City of Love’s long-term “live and let live” relationship with those who have no problem letting it all hang out. According to various reports, city dwellers will no longer have the right to “[lounge] nude in the city’s plazas, [parade] up and down city streets sans pants, or [ride] subways and buses bare-bottomed”. Wait, you mean they could do that before?!?! Apparently Rice-a-Roni wasn’t the only San Francisco treat!

City Supervisor Scott Weiner (tee hee) introduced the ordinance in what seemed like an attempt to counter complaints from local business owners about a surge in “habitual nudists” flaunting their flesh in the city’s infamous Castro district–but he noted, to opponents’ surprise, that “The dominant demographic expressing concern is gay men”. Based on the close vote and the immediate public outcry, we’d say the city has a bit of a public relations problem on its hands–and we anticipate weeks of futile protests punctuated by gratuitous flashing sprees.

Public nudity remains legal in the state of California as long as it isn’t deemed “lewd or offensive”, though we’d say that wording allows for a bit of a slippery slope…and we wonder how the act of dropping one’s drawers constitutes “free speech”. The fact that “…preschoolers can still go bare, women can still go topless and public nudity will continue to be allowed at events permitted by the city” also diminishes the power of the protesters’ point, doesn’t it?

A final note to the City of New York and the MTA: thank you for not letting people ride the train nude. Improv Everywhere‘s “No Pants Subway Ride” already shows us more than enough skin. Read more

Seattle PD Has a Sense of Humor About Marijuana

Gandalf Lord of the RingsWe recently reported on the Seattle Police Department’s  attempts to endear itself to the public via helpful block-by-block crime tweets. Now we find that the PD’s communications team might just be perfect for social media—they certainly have a sense of humor.

In case you missed the memo, earlier this month the states of Washington and Colorado became the first in our nation to legalize the possession and use of marijuana “for recreational purposes”–no prescription required, man. We mention this because the Seattle PD just unveiled a page on its crime blotter blog titled “Marijwhatnow? A Guide to Legal Marijuana Use In Seattle.”

The page, quite obviously tailored to Seattle residents with certain…habits, includes the answers to such probing questions as “Will police officers be able to smoke marijuana?” and “What happens if I get pulled over and I’m sober, but an officer or his K9 buddy smells the ounce of Super Skunk I’ve got in my trunk?” The page’s author, veteran crime reporter Jonah Spangenthal-Lee, advises those caught with marijuana before the law goes into effect on Dec. 6 to “hold your breath.”

So, like, we find this all endlessly amusing and stuff, but it’s also a great example of good PR on the department’s behalf.

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