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Social Media Case Study: the Pittsburgh G20
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Social Media Case Study: the Pittsburgh G20



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  • On-the-spot reports from witnesses, property owners, business owners, protesters News media gathering stories from online media


  • 1. Social Media Best Practices Cynthia Closkey October 27, 2009
  • 2. Case Study: G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, September 24-25, 2009
  • 3.  
  • 4.  
  • 5. Social media as means of PR/marketing
  • 6. Social media as means of commentary & community input
    • MyG20
  • 7. Social media as organizational tool for protesters
    • G20 Resistance Project
  • 8. Social media as news channel
  • 9. Social media as document of events and historical context
    • Flickr
    • Wikipedia
    • Blogs, Twitter, etc.
    • Tags: #pittsburghg20 #myg20
  • 10. Outcomes
    • Pittsburgh showcased as revitalization model, green venues, capable of big event
    • G20 agreed to proposal to reform the IMF
    • ~ 4,500 people participated in protests, 190 arrests made
    • ~ $50,000 in property damage
    • Investigations into improper police conduct, findings to be released May 2010
      • Will be an issue in mayoral & gubernatorial races
    • Two people arrested for allegedly directing protesters using Twitter
  • 11. Learnings & Best Practices
  • 12. Understand social media’s strengths & weaknesses
    • Fast & wide:
      • On-the-spot reports
    • Self-correcting:
      • Photos from French protests
      • Corrections to Wikipedia page
    • Not all positive:
      • Protesters & vandals using police scanners, Twitter, texting, etc.
  • 13. Recognize that you can’t control the message, but you can participate in it
    • The community defines the story/message/brand
    • You still hold authority, access, benefits
    • Your greatest gain from social media is the ability to listen better
  • 14. Gain experience early - before it’s urgent
    • Know how social media fits into the overall media mix
    • Build relationships: enhance credibility and create internal capability
    • Find and support your community advocates (or someone else might)
  • 15. Q&A
    • What of this event was as you would have expected? What was a surprise?
    • Does your organization face a similar situation? How are you preparing or engaging?
    • Is the focus on social media appropriate or overblown?
  • 16. Let’s discuss
    • Cynthia Closkey, Big Big Design
      • [email_address]
      • 724-505-1234
      • @cynthiacloskey