Social Security

mike_twitterMost people associate security with uniformed guards, patrol vehicles and alarm systems. But some of the largest security firms in B.C. also want you to think of them when the words Twitter, Facebook and blog come to mind.

Take Commissionaires BC, for example. Nearly topping Business in Vancouver’s 2010 list of the Biggest Security Companies in B.C. with almost 1,700 staff members provincewide, the firm’s been following social media trends for some time and plans to leverage such technology to expand its business, according to vice-president of new ventures and marketing Audrey Plé.

“We’re very excited about the opportunities that social media channels present, [and] our plan is to utilize these channels to share important security information with our connections,” said Plé. “Our recently launched LinkedIn page has attracted some excellent traffic and recruitment opportunities, our YouTube channel is host to 12 Commissionaires videos and we have plans to utilize Twitter to communicate with our employees, who operate in more than 110 communities across the province. It’s an excellent method of keeping them abreast of changes and updates. We [also] have a number of security experts on staff, and we’re making plans to launch our own blog.”

A topic one such expert, Interior-Kelowna director of operations Brian Garvie, would likely blog about is Commissionaires’ October 1 adoption of Perspective – an incident management system developed by Edmonton-based PPM 2000. Much like social media, Perspective allows the security firm to share critical information with its clients wirelessly, online.

“It allows us to do incident reporting and investigative management directly from our mobile patrol vehicles on laptop computers,” he said. “We use wireless Internet to connect to the system and complete the incident management reports directly from the vehicle. It’s much more efficient, effective and modern, and it’s a major timesaver for both us and our clients.”

While Perspective is only in full use at Kelowna International Airport and the security company’s mobile patrol vehicles in that city, Commissionaires plans to implement it further.

“It’s certainly the way of the future; it’s something we can offer to clients to enhance the service we provide to them,” Garvie confirmed. “It represents all the things I think are good and efficient about doing business.”

Provident Security Corp. has also tapped into technology to connect with its clients, as well as the community at large. The Vancouver-headquartered firm’s website features subscriptions to its blog, electronic newsletter and RSS feed; a video library; and a link to its Twitter account.

According to founder and president Mike Jagger, “One of our core values is to create community value and to stay connected to our customers. [Social media] just fits into what this company is all about.”

In fact, Jagger told BIV in a previous interview that about 10 or so inquisitive tweeters who asked for security advice in 2009 eventually decided to hire Provident to protect their premises.

“I’m not sure that a traditional business like ours could hope to have its whole marketing or business strategy built around Twitter, but it allows us to communicate with more people who are right in our market,” he said at the time.
Jagger’s most recent use for the popular online tool has been to drive attendance to his free monthly Preventing Burglary seminars, which are offered to Block Watch and other neighbourhood groups, interested businesses and the general public.

“The seminars aim to dispel some of the myths about home security, built around our own five minute proofing strategies,” he said. “They’re absolutely free of charge, and we even live-stream them online every couple of months so that people can watch them from home and ask questions remotely.

“We don’t think of it as giving away information for free,” he added. “The more educated our clients are, the better it is for us because, once they understand how home or business security works, they see where we fit in as a company, so it doesn’t have to be a sales pitch.”

Published November 30, 2010 · Business In Vancouver · Written by Noa Glouberman

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