Axon offers free tools to help departments recruit and retain officers
Axon unveils the ‘I'm In’ Recruiting Campaign, which offers departments free marketing tools to help recruit and retain LEOs
Sponsored by Axon
By Sean Curtis for PoliceOne BrandFocus
Right now, police agencies across the United States face a recruitment shortage – yet few agencies commit resources to a full campaign for filling the ranks.
In response to a study on recruitment challenges, conducted in conjunction with Wakefield Research, Axon (formerly known as Taser) provides a free resource to help departments retain and recruit officers through its "I'm In" Recruiting Campaign.
I spoke with Axon CEO Rick Smith about the “I'm In” Recruiting Campaign to learn more.
FREE ‘I’M IN’ CAMPAIGN
The “I’m In” Recruiting Campaign stems from conversations with law enforcement agencies across the United States and the findings from the Wakefield study that surveyed 200 law enforcement officers across the U.S.
Fifty-four percent of respondents to the study say the number of job applications to their departments decreased in the last five years, while 83 percent of officers think that it will be even more difficult to recruit new candidates in the next five years.
Smith said one recruitment roadblock is public perception of the police, especially with some media companies focusing on negative interactions between LEOs and the public.
“The deluge of negative media is taking its toll,” he said. “Departments find it is harder to attract people into law enforcement.”
READY-TO-USE MARKETING MATERIALS
The “I’m In” Recruiting Campaign is a scalable marketing program that offers plug-and-play marketing tools for those police agencies looking for help with recruitment.
Axon provides agencies that sign up with access to several tools. The campaign consists of high-quality still images with recruitment messaging (available for the web, posters, billboards and more), video assets and other marketing tools. In the first quarter of 2018, Axon plans to roll out additional digital and print materials that will be customizable for individual agencies.
Police departments allocate funds to fight crime and not necessarily to market their agencies. Smith said Axon offers their marketing expertise through the “I’m In” marketing collateral for free so departments can focus on safeguarding the public.
Agencies may use as many or as few of the assets in the program as they want to help tell their story to prospective recruits. This includes a recruitment video already created by Axon, and custom recruitment posters that tie into the video are also available. Specifically, the recruitment video tells the story of how officers save lives.
More marketing materials will become available soon as Axon talks with customers to learn what tools and resources they need to amplify their recruiting efforts, Smith said. This includes adding a social media campaign to the program in 2018.
MEASURABLE BENEFITS FOR LE AGENCIES
Smith said the “I’m In” program and its free marketing materials enable departments to reduce or eliminate the costs of paying a marketing agency to tell the public about why being a LEO is rewarding.
This campaign provides LE agencies with high-quality, professionally created resources that would otherwise prove cost-prohibitive to produce for themselves, Smith said. Now, agencies can use the free campaign liberally to advertise in their community about the benefits of being a LEO in order to draw in new recruits and tell their story.
“This campaign allows recruiters to help shift the public narrative and focus on the service and duty of law enforcement officers,” Smith said.
Marketing changes perception by telling a story. Sharing video of anything from saving a cat from a tree to stopping a mass shooter tells the story of how police protect and serve, he said.
Axon is committed to helping LE agencies across the United States solve the recruitment shortage by providing the needed resources to tell the story of a career in law enforcement. Agencies can sign-up for the "I'm In" Recruiting Campaign by visiting http://www.connectandserve.in or texting "In" to 66866.