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I'm Kelcey Blanks, a 23-year-old public relations/marketing professional. I'm obsessed with all things social media. My family, friends and pup make my world go 'round. Clothes, jewelry and shoes make me happier than a kid on Christmas. And chances are I'm already planning my next meal in my head. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

NYPD Twitter Hashtag Backfires

This week, the New York Police Department initiated a social media campaign to create buzz for the organization by engaging its followers to use a hashtag. The NYPD asked its Twitter followers to tweet pictures that they had alongside the New York City police officers using the hashtag #myNYPD. The NYPD public relations department apparently thought these pictures would be of good sentiment. What ended up happening was completely opposite from what was intended, as in the picture below.

Picture retrieved from: mashable.com

People took this opportunity to poke fun at the New York Police Department. Tweets were posted that showed police officers in a displeasing manner, using brutality and misconduct towards individuals as they were being arrested.  

Picture retrieved from: mashable.com

This person tweeted about the brutalization New York City police officers demonstrated towards an older gentleman for jay walking. Tweets flooded in using the hashtag #myNYPD, expressing overall distaste for the New York City police officers. It was quite opposite from what was intended for the NYPD social media campaign, which was meant to create good sentiment and engagement with the community.

Deputy Chief Kim Y. Royster, a spokesperson for the NYPD, defended the Twitter campaign. She said that despite the backlash, it was a way to “provide an open forum for an uncensored exchange and this is an open dialogue good for our city.”

However, the social media campaign was not all negative. The NYPD received many tweets and pictures of individuals paying respects to the hard-working police officers. Despite the overwhelming negative response to the Twitter campaign, there was just as much positive reinforcement for the NYPD.

Picture retrieved from: mashable.com

(The photo above displays the positivity that the NYPD Twitter campaign received.)

The campaign caused quite a stir this week in New York City and on social media platforms. The New York Police Department public relations team did what it could to come up with an innovative way to engage with the community it defends and represents on a daily basis. From a public relations standpoint, it was a great effort by the NYPD to engage with its followers.

For me personally, it doesn’t seem like police departments do enough to try to reach out to followers on social media, so I think what they did was a great idea. The NYPD isn’t always going to make everyone happy, but it seems as though the organization completed its plan to provide an open forum for ideas on social media. The negative backlash probably wasn’t exactly what the NYPD had expected from the campaign, but the organization handled it with grace without letting it get too out of control.


Laird, S. (2014, April 23). NYPD's Feel-Good Hashtag Campaign Backfires. In Mashable. Retrieved April 25, 2014, from http://mashable.com/2014/04/22/nypd-hashtag/

Ford, D. (2014, April 24). #D'oh! NYPD Twitter campaign backfires. In CNN. Retrieved April 25, 2014, from http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/22/tech/nypd-twitter-fail/

Wilson, M. (2014, April 24). NYPD’s hashtag promotion goes awry. In PR Daily. Retrieved April 25, 2014, from http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/16533.aspx#

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