These days, social media encompasses every aspect of life. It also
allows adolescents and teens to be expressive.
Sometimes too expressive.
A quick YouTube or Google search can sometimes reveal surprising
images and give you a glimpse into what really happens at your
facility while you're away.
The city of Chandler, Ariz., currently uses a YouTube channel to
air episodes of the city’s cable channel show. One day,
following the most recent episode of our department's cable show,
YouTube recommended a non-department video called “A Day at
the Aquatic Facility.”
This one-minute cell phone video clip featured one of our male and
female lifeguards play-fighting over a squirt gun while at work in
the guard room. They could easily be identified as city staff due
to their uniforms, and the facility name was listed in the video
clip title. These employees were engaged in unprofessional conduct
and did not represent a positive image of the young people working
at this facility.
The female lifeguard placed the squirt gun down the front of her
swimsuit and the male lifeguard was trying to get the toy back from
her. The video had been online for more than a year with only 30
lifetime views, but the public perception of our staff was in
jeopardy — and the potential consequences of this image were
Fortunately, the staff members were quickly identified. The person
responsible for shooting and posting the video was contacted, and
the video was removed.
The benefits of social media and the use of Twitter, Facebook and
YouTube have provided us the opportunity to interact with our
customers and provide a new level of service. As an operator, the
ability to connect with, and receive feedback from, our customers
is very important and provides valuable insight about our
We understand we cannot control the content that others put on the
Internet, but we can monitor it, and provide a response when
appropriate. We will continue to use these tools to promote our
services and engage with the community.
This lesson has provided us with a reminder to use due diligence
with our staff to maintain a positive online persona of the city we