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Public safety departments partner with VSU students to enhance social media presence

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 6:27 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Social media is one of the top sources of information and news for many, especially millenials and Gen-Z.

The City of Valdosta is partnering with Valdosta State University for some social media advice. They’re looking to enhance their public safety social media accounts, and find more effective ways to reach people.

VSU students are getting hands-on experience this semester. The social media class is working with Valdosta fire and police departments to create a social media strategy plan.

It’s a community project and collaborative effort to find the best ways to keep people informed.

“Social media is so prevalent now,” said Taylor Gudzack, who’s helping with this project.

Gudzack said it’s important for their education too.

The students will be getting access to all the data from the social accounts.

Students will be analyzing and learning more about the audience and how to better communicate.
Students will be analyzing and learning more about the audience and how to better communicate.(WALB)

They will be analyzing and learning more about the audience and how to better communicate.

Gabrielle Lamura, another student, said the information posted on these accounts is crucial for everyone.

“It’s so important. Especially for the firefighters and police officers, they can’t necessarily spread the word individually as quickly as social media does,” said Lamura.

Whether these departments are trying to notify the public about emergencies, share crime tips, or any news, most people have a smartphone, making access to information easier to get and sent quicker.

" I feel like it’ll help us target a certain demographic that we’re trying to reach and give the fire prevention tips out as far as the fire department is concerned and also help with recruiting,” said Fire Chief Brian Boutwell.

Throughout the project, students will meet with city staff, Valdosta fire and Valdosta police...
Throughout the project, students will meet with city staff, Valdosta fire and Valdosta police to talk ideas for targeting a younger generation.(WALB)

“A lot of stuff we put out, we put out in a hurry and we want it to be able to grab somebody’s attention. Everyone relies on social media before they rely on anything else. So, we want to continue to use this platform but enhance what we currently have,” said Police Chief Leslie Manahan.

The city’s goal is to continue using technology to engage with people as best as possible.

Throughout the project, students will meet with city staff, Valdosta fire and Valdosta police to talk ideas for targeting a younger generation.

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