The group newsletter, web page and/or social media are the communication links to the residents in the area and as such are a vital component to a successful NHW group.
The NHW Committee should determine its objectives for the chosen communication tool/s as early as possible. Here are some suggested objectives:
- To identify the area and provide contact information, eg telephone numbers and/or email addresses, for residents to make contact with the NHW group and the local Police.
- To advise of crime trends in the area.
- To provide security and crime prevention tips.
- To foster improvement in relations between Police and the community.
- Any other objectives considered relevant by the NHW Committee.
Group newsletters, the web page and social media need to be readable and interesting if they are to prove valuable to NHW. Contents of these publications could include:
- Local crime trend information has been found to be important to residents; they are keen to know about crime in their general area. This information is normally provided by your local Crime Prevention Officer. Under no circumstances can you publish any information that may identify a victim of crime or details of a crime that may be of a sensitive, family or sexual nature.
- Information on ways to prevent crime and keep homes and property secure. This information should be drawn from the NHW Victoria website and publications, and information provided by the Police.
- Acknowledgement of sponsors and supporters of NHW. The amount of space that can be given to supporters (advertisers) must not exceed 25% of the publication.
- Take care not to breach copyright. You must acknowledge the source of any material you obtain from other publications, an example of a suitable acknowledgment is ‘Reproduced from the July 2015 Sentinel’. Sometimes you may also need permission from the author or publisher. If you are unsure about using something from another source, email NHW state office (firstname.lastname@example.org.)
- Ensure material that may be offensive to individuals, or members of ethnic or religious groups, is not published by NHW.
Other suitable media items could include:
- An editorial on some aspect of NHW.
- Extracts from Sentinel (which can be directly downloaded from the NHW Victoria website, or from other group newsletters.
- Items on home security, most residents find this interesting, particularly when the information relates to how crimes are being committed in their local community.
While recognising that ‘freedom of speech’ is a fundamental tenet of democracy, it is also vital that NHW is apolitical. The following guidelines are presented to minimise problems and to assist Police and Area Managers to select appropriate guest speakers and in preparing their own presentations.
NHW speakers should be selected for their ability to:
- Expand upon or explain matters specifically related to NHW Victoria objectives.
- Address problems similar to, or arising from, activities within a particular NHW group.
- Provide information of interest to the residents of the local area.
- The use of NHW for political purposes is strictly forbidden. Speakers should not use NHW as a vehicle for attack upon, or denigration of, the parliamentary institution or its processes. These guidelines are offered purely by way of assistance and should not be interpreted as unnecessarily restricting the right of NHW committees in their selection of guest speakers. It is, however, in the interest of everyone for NHW to remain strictly apolitical and non-partisan.
- To ensure the integrity of NHW Victoria any correspondence from a NHW participant, area, or division which is to be sent to Victoria Police or a government member in relation to NHW and its programs, should be initially directed to the Board of Management. This does not prevent a person who is a NHW volunteer, writing to anybody on a matter of concern that does not relate to NHW.
The NHW Victoria Facebook page has been established for sometime and has over 3,200 Likes (as at December 2017). Please ‘Like’ the page and receive various updates via your newsfeed from the NHW Timeline.
Many LGAs and NHW groups have also established locally based Facebook pages and your support of these pages is strongly encouraged.
The NHW Victoria website (nhw.com.au) is the only website address that should be advertised unless LGAs wish to advertise their component of the website in local newsletters.
If your NHW group would like to setup your own ‘customised’ website please email (email@example.com.)
The NHW website is constantly monitored for content additions and changes and regular security audits are carried out to ensure security of the site.
NHW state office distributes a monthly eNews via email to all NHW groups. The newsletter is in Microsoft Word format and can be customised to include local news. It can then be emailed to subscribers. Alternatively, any of the articles in the eNews can be cut and pasted to your normal newsletter.
Previous editions of eNews can be requested from (firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The Sentinel is a quarterly magazine showing news from NHW Victoria and information on NHW group activities around the state.
Previous editions of Sentinel can be requested from email@example.com
The group should consider as a matter of policy whether it wants to invite residents or companies trading in the area to advertise in the area media. Any advertising revenue of this nature has to be recorded in the group accounts.
Any organisations that advertise with NHW must be compatible with normal community standards. Therefore, it would not be acceptable to advertise cigarettes but it would be reasonable to advertise the milk bar from which cigarettes might be sold, provided they are not specifically referenced.
Please refer to the NHW Victoria Communications Policy for further information.