'Tag A Mate Who Loves Pineapple On Their Pizza': How Australian Police Bought Into Meme Culture

If you’re among the 732,300-odd people who like the New South Wales police force on Facebook, the proliferation of puns about Adele might have tipped you off – or the invitation to “tag a mate who loves pineapple 🍍 on their pizza 🍕”.

Since the start of the year, the force in Australia’s largest state has freshened up its social media strategy, dotting memes among its public service announcements and appeals for witnesses, some with a law enforcement message and others – well, barely.

A mock screengrab showing missed calls from Adele (“You must’ve called 1000 times to tell us traffic will be hell”) was liked by more than 13,000 people; one showing “LIVE scenes” of the Sydney heatwave – the Opera House amid a desert – raised more than 11,000. Police dog Bob the “professional doggo” who works out six days a week and doesn’t eat gluten (“#fitspo”) drew nearly 500 comments.

Though the vast majority of posts on the force’s Facebook page continue to be informative, the sprinkling of levity has not gone unnoticed. On Twitter it has drawn a spray of commentary, equal parts amused and bemused by the police’s new direction.
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Jess Muscat (@jessmuscat)

NSW police force are killing it with the memes lately

March 16, 2017
mahitha (@daylightsljp)

WHO is running the NSW police force page pic.twitter.com/xQwYsroxl2

March 14, 2017
argel 🌊 (@argel_santiago)

I love how the nsw police force facebook page is just another meme page

March 14, 2017

The force has been active on social media for the best part of a decade, but Strath Gordon, its director of public affairs, confirms that what he calls the “meme strategy” has been deployed only in the past two months.

Last week alone, the page amassed more than 13,000 new likes, overtaking the Bureau of Meteorology on the leaderboard of Australian government organisations.

More exciting to Gordon is the rise in the number of comments and shares: NSW Police now has the highest engagement of any Australian government organisation on Facebook, he says, with no small amount of pride. The invitation to “tag a mate who loves pineapple 🍍 on their pizza 🍕” drew the best part of 7,000 comments and nearly 3,000 shares.

It’s no secret direct appeals and humour are effective at raising responses on social media, and memes of the sort now being posted by NSW Police are not especially unusual, even among government organisations. “Dank memes” were the currency of last year’s federal election campaign for political parties and lobby groups alike.

Source : https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/mar/21/australian-police-bought-into-meme-culture