The Memphis Police Department is searching for a firm to assist them with a marketing campaign in order to increase recruitment to the city’s finest. The RFP seems to seek a kindler, gentler, smarter recruiter – instead of focusing on brute strength. They seek “qualified applicants who are centered with honesty, loyalty, pride, respect, strength, and courage.”
They are looking to create a multi-channel, cost-effective, media campaign that reinforces MPD’s recruiting efforts, and “strengthens the image and interest, not only for law enforcement, but for a career path with the Memphis Police Department (MPD).”
The RFP notes that, “The common perception of law enforcement is reportedly focused and revolves around crime fighting incidents and initiatives, especially by mass media. Part of this image is the belief that physical stamina and strength are essential to the position of a law enforcement officer. Contrary to popular beliefs, the core requirement of law enforcement duties requires limited physical energy and endurance, but the use of communication and people skills, followed by the ability to assess and properly handle emotional issues and mental crisis, are more essential.
Most departments’ recruiting processes place a heavy emphasis on physical skills that are rarely needed and are generally tested during the selection process. Recruiters have a tendency to overlook persons who recognize that Policing is about human relations, while seeking out those who fit the stereotypical role of a crime fighter. This stereotypical role of the police is often reinforced in the applicant’s mind through television, movies, and the department’s recruiting techniques. Unfortunately, once applicants fitting the “crime-fighter” role are employed, they are shocked to find out that their role primarily involves the use of people skills not emphasized during the hiring process. This difference – between expectations and reality – may result in some individuals entering law enforcement for the wrong reasons.
The types of persons needed most in law enforcement are those who enjoy and like to help other people. The core of law enforcement is not centered on crime fighting, but the use of effective people skills and dealing with assorted emotions is relevant. This realization must be addressed and emphasized in the recruiting process and marketing campaign to gain more qualifying candidates. This target population of candidates must be identified and the recruiting pitch must be customized to ensure that the target population is likely to digest the information and also find the message credible.”
The RFP further notes that “law enforcement agencies are”:
- Competing aggressively with private companies and other law enforcement agencies to procure quality applicants.
- Challenged when dispelling misconceptions reported by television entertainment and social media.
- No longer recognized as traditional blue-collar jobs, and has become a challenging profession that requires technical and intellectual skills.
The budget for said campaign is $400K, launching January 6, 2016. Campaign ideas can include developing marketing communications plans, promotional materials, electronic media, direct marketing.
Proposals are due by November 24, 2015 to Eric.Mayse@memphistn.gov