National

Punjab Police takes to social media to enforce ‘stay at home’ order

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on April 06, 2020 Published on April 06, 2020

From leveraging the iconic Bhangra to propagate social distancing, getting a cop to sing in a Punjabi music video to raise awareness about Covid-19, Punjab Police is leaving no stone unturned to reach out to every citizen in a quirky and entertaining manner.

As the primary responsibility of enforcing the lockdown in the region lies with the State’s police force, social and digital platforms such as TikTok, Sharechat , Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter have become its primary tools to disseminate information.

Sample this: “Sangrur!! Social Distancing Te Stay at Home Follow Karo Zaroor (Sangrur!! Follow Social Distancing and Stay at Home) reads one social media post. “Hoshiarpur!!!..Hoshiar Raho Ghar Vich Raho, reads another post (Hoshiarpur !! Be vigilant and stay at home). Similarly, the State police’s TikTok account, showcases content which includes humorous animation videos, to sensitise and inform about various issues such as how to spend time productively while staying at home, or norms to get an e-pass, the need for social distancing and information about relief measures among others.

To inform and entertain

Naresh Arora, Political Strategist and Founder & Director at DesignBoxed, the digital marketing firm behind Punjab Police’s digital campaign told BusinessLine, “This is an unprecedented crisis for the world and our endeavour through the digital strategy has been to help the Punjab Police disseminate information in an entertaining manner, which is shareable and can strike a chord with the citizens.”

The State, which is known for its agrarian economy, has a large chunk of population living in rural regions, but with high smartphone penetration.

“Punjab Police needs to reach out not just to urban but also rural citizens. So, we have to take care that citizens can relate to the humour and can understand the witty social media posts and videos. The strategy has been not just to inform them but also to keep the citizen engaged during this lockdown with infotainment content,” Arora said. Since its debut on Tiktok about 10 days ago, Punjab Police’s official account has garnered over 45 million views and its social media campaign has grabbed attention across the country. DesignBoxed, which is rendering its services to the police free of charge, has also been focusing on taking the state police’s communication strategy deeper with social media posts focused on each district.

For public good

“In this crisis,all police departments are engaging with the common man and not criminals. Our social media messaging also focuses on making citizens understand that the Punjab Police is enforcing a lockdown for their benefit and are the real heroes, working at the frontline, during this crisis. Therefore, we have been featuring real cops in our social media content across platforms,” Arora pointed out.

This week, the State police has began a fresh campaign to tackle fake news through GIFs and social media posts. “ Next, we will host talkathons and FB live sessions with the Punjab Director-General of Police Dinkar Gupta. These will be done to get feedback from citizens on how the police can serve and support them better during this lockdown,” Arora added.

Police departments across the country are saddled with the responsibility to enforce the lockdown, carry essential services and tackle rumours. This is the toughest mandate for the police forces across the country and could redefine their communication strategies, he feels.

Published on April 06, 2020

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.