Apr 30, 2019
Tim Cotton is a lieutenant with the Bangor Police Department and has become well-known for managing the department’s Facebook page. He joined the police force in the late 1980s, became a detective in 2001 and in 2014 became the public information officer. He now finds himself the recipient of serious Facebook attention and adoration from fans around the country that follow the Facebook page to read Tim’s insightful, humorous posts. Tim describes himself as a technology moron, but his Facebook stats beg to differ. The Washington Post wrote an article about the police department titled “This may be the only police department in America with a funny Facebook page.”
In this episode:
4:28 – How Tim went from working in radio to joining the police force and how he began working as a homicide detective.
6:00 – Why Tim wasn’t motivated by promotions but rather his love of his work.
7:00 – After he was promoted to lieutenant, no one wanted to take over the Facebook page after his success and unique style.
7:30 – Where Tim does his Facebook posts and how he writes about content unrelated to law enforcement.
8:00 – Tim created his own Facebook page and within three months had 30,000 followers.
8:22 – Tim shares how the city of Bangor has only 31,000 residents but the police department Facebook page has nearly 300,000 fans.
8:30 – Learn how Bangor residents react to being asked about the Duck of Justice.
9:30 – Tim discusses how police departments have been letting others tell their stories and how the beauty of social media is changing that.
10:30 – Tim shares how his Facebook posts show the general kindness that most police officers have toward the public.
11:36 – Hear the origin story of the Duck of Justice.
17:28 – Where the Duck of Justice is now.
18:24 – Tim talks about snark on Facebook.
18:56 – How the Facebook page has helped the Bangor community.
20:05 – Hear about the knitters from around the world making hats for Bangor’s homeless population.
20:30 – How the police department became a “conduit of kindness.”
24:14 – What Tim has started doing now that he never did before on social media.
25:00 – Tim shares how people have reported crimes and asked for help on the Facebook page.
26:00 – Tim says if you share heartfelt posts, you also have to respond to comments in a heartfelt way.
27:02 – Tim’s weird dream about Mike Rowe.
29:00 – Tim shares advice on how to write on Facebook.
30:00 – Tim’s reasons for not following the advice of PR professionals.
27:52 – Nancy and Tim discuss the importance of listening. Nancy shares the expression “to grow bigger ears and a smaller mouth.”
34:30 – How Tim got a free Carhart hat.
35:19 – How Ad Age wrote an article about Tim calling him the savviest marketer that never was.
39:00 – Nancy shares a story about her pet duck.
40:30 – How Tim measures success.
43:00 – How Tim’s writing helped breast cancer survivors.
46:53 – Tim’s philosophy on how to treat people.
On listening on social media: “You just can't tell people things. You need to listen to people, to what they have to say. They're telling you what they want from you.” Tim Cotton, Bangor Police Department.
Looking to Connect:
Facebook: Tim Cottons Writes