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Local Governments, Who's Telling Your Story?

Local Governments, Who's Telling Your Story?



Engage your citizens…using Social Media

Engage your citizens…using Social Media



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Local Governments, Who's Telling Your Story? Local Governments, Who's Telling Your Story? Presentation Transcript

  • Who’s telling your story? Engage your citizens…using Social Media
  • Issues important to you (gov’t officials)
    • Responsible spending of tax revenue
    • Infrastructure
    • Planning and development
    • Emergency services
    • Delivery of basic services
    • Disaster planning and recovery
    • Crisis management
    • Recreation
    • Events
    • Schools (maintenance, levies, staffing)
    • Road construction (potholes, orange barrels up too long, etc.)
    • City-sponsored efforts (recycling, smoke alarm day, safety training, CPR training)
    • Building codes (direction on installing fences, decks, electrical wiring, etc.)
    • Traffic updates / road closings
    • Emergency updates (snow storms, tornadoes, electrical outages, chem spills)
    • Policy research (what issues are on upcoming ballots?)
    Issues important to your citizens
  • Benefits of engaging citizenry
    • Quicker and easier adoption of new services, policies, etc.
    • Community support (advocacy) for new initiatives
    • Immediate feedback on issues
    • Direction on what issues are most important to general population
    • Direction on how to promote community/ attract future residents and businesses
  • What is social media?
    • Internet- and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information.
      • Wikipedia
    What is social media… to government?
    • The use of Internet- and mobile-based tools to engage residents, collect consumer data, share information and generate awareness…
    • Social Media is new form of Public Relations
  • Reasons for government to use social media
    • Alternative to (“evolution of”) traditional PR
      • Increasingly effective and growing
    • Multiple lines of communication
      • Essential, especially in times of crisis
    • Inexpensive
    • Reach various demographics
    • Increase search engine rankings
    • Real time
    • Drive citizens to website
    • Communicate your message
    • Establish representative voice(s) for community
      • If you don’t establish a voice, someone else will!
    • Crisis Management tool
      • Follow same principles as with traditional media
        • Establish intelligent, skilled spokesperson(s)
        • Tell your side of the story
        • Gain empathy and advocacy
        • Never say “No Comment”
  • Types of social media
    • Weblogs/Blogs—Blog.Wired.com, TwoBitsAndAByte
    • Microblogs—Twitter
    • News dissemination (Social Media Release)—PitchEngine.com, Google News, Twitter
    • E-Newsletters
    • E-mail
    • Social media networking sites—Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Groups
    • Aggregators—Ping.fm, FeedBurner, FriendFeed
    • Wikis—Topic-specific Wikipedia pages
    • Online photo/video sharing galleries—YouTube, Flickr
    • Podcasts
    • Text messaging
    • Internet forums
    • Event forums—Meetup.com
    • Online surveys—SurveyMonkey.com
    • Custom Applications—Twit2Win
  • Important points
    • You DO NOT need to be an active blogger
    • Leadership should embrace social media, not fear it
    • Establish social media policy and best practices
    • You DO need to communicate your message
    • You CAN measure impact of social media
    • If you don’t establish a representative voice for your community, someone else will!
    • Dissenting voices can easily become “de facto” voices for your community
    • Purpose is not to “control” message, but to “guide” message and engage citizens in message
    • It all starts with your website!
  • The tools!
    • Website. It all starts here!
      • The basis for all PR, branding, social media
      • Dynamic, functional, user friendly
      • The face…and often first impression…of your community
      • Content rich—to drive search engine results
    • Social Media Policy
      • Establishes best practices and procedures
      • Ensures that entire staff is on message
      • Empowers staff to be proactive
      • Positions social media as “means to engage” rather than “distraction”
      • Encourages citizen participation
  • The tools!
    • E-newsletter
      • Ensures regular contact
      • Promotes/strengthens brand
      • Delivers timely, relevant content
      • Easy to monitor
      • Measurable
      • Call to action
      • Entertains
      • Can be self administered
      • Inexpensive—no printing, nominal monthly fees to manage (e.g., ConstantContact.com)
      • Example: City of Sharonville (Ohio)
        • Implemented Fall 2008 to bridge gab b/t business and residential communities
        • Partnered with Chamber to get subscribers
        • Doubled subscriber list in 6 months
        • Receives e-mails thanking them for newsletter
  • The tools!
    • Blog
        • Enable direct communication with and feedback from citizenry
        • Can be monitored and managed by community staff
      • More personal and dynamic than typical website
      • Can be separate from or part of community website
      • Typically ties into overall marketing/PR strategy
      • Can allow comments from visitors; can monitor comments
      • Easy to create using free, downloadable blog software
      • Best used for sharing information of interest to or that specifically benefits targeted users
      • Serves as home page for many organizations—growing trend
        • May work best for elected officials, rather than appointed/hired staff
  • The tools!
    • Event Forum
      • Set up custom events online
      • Choose whom to invite
      • Allow others to join
      • Specific to topic, location, etc.
        • Engages with niche audiences (e.g., dog lovers re: plans for new dog park; bicyclists re: proposed bike lanes)
      • Can host actual events at popular community locations
  • The tools!
    • Microblog—Twitter
      • Limited to 140 characters per entry
      • Allows people to follow each other in real time from any location with Web/mobile access
      • Simple to use
      • Growing by 900%
      • Increasing usage among businesses, individuals, politicians and PR pros as news dissemination device
      • Bridging gap between traditional and social media
        • Growing number of reporters take story pitches from Twitter ONLY
  • The tools!
    • Podcast
      • Free video or audio series downloaded to and playable on iPods, computers, TVs, mobile phones, or similar mobile media devices
      • Enable users to view or listen to preferred content almost anywhere at anytime
      • Tool for sharing issues discussed at council meetings, community forums, etc.
  • The tools!
    • Social Networking Communities
      • What are you doing?
      • Who do you know?
      • Fan pages
      • Groups of common interest
    • Photo/Video Sharing Sites
      • Personalized albums
      • Share via invitation, e-mail
      • Showcase events, demonstrations
  • The tools!
    • Wiki
      • Encyclopedic online profile of community
      • Anyone can contribute content
      • Can be updated in real time
      • Is preferred to be objective—not self promotional
  • How not to use social media
    • Motrin (Johnson & Johnson) (motrin.com)
      • Objective
        • Sell Motrin
      • Social Media Components
        • Irreverent video designed to appeal to young mothers suffering from back pain associated with baby slings/carries
        • Posted ad to YouTube and Motrin.com
      • Results
        • Small # of “mommy bloggers” were offended; posted scathing remarks on Twitter
        • Motrin apologized and pulled ad immediately
        • Motrin pulled entire campaign
        • Motrin wasted all money spent on campaign
      • Later Findings
        • Motrin heard from same mommy bloggers that they were disappointed video was pulled
        • Mommies wanted their concerns addressed, not dismissed
        • Motrin failed to engage and befriend bloggers; lost potential customers
  • What’s next?
    • Google Wave
        • Collaborative tool
          • Equal parts “conversation” and “document”
        • People communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more
        • Evolved from Google Maps
        • Create a wave; add people
        • Users pull text, graphics, widgets, feeds from other Web sources
        • Concurrent rich-text editing
          • Users can see instantly when others are typing inside their wave
  • What makes social media valuable to you?
    • It’s the way people of all ages and demographics are communicating
    • Studies show consumers research products online before buying
      • True for government, as well
      • Why wouldn’t you build your online relationship with them…NOW?
    • Its usage is growing rapidly
    • Vital part of marketing mix, more search hits
    • Natural evolution of marketing and PR
    • Builds via “word of mouth”
    • Engages citizens like no other medium
    • Allows you to tell your story in your words
  • Why social media is relevant
    • Facebook.com- Social Network Site 200+ Million Active Users Fastest growing Demo 30+
    • Flickr.com-Photo Sharing App hosts more than two billion tagged images
    • Twitter.com- micro-blogging site 32.1 million people answering the question “What are you doing now?” in 140 characters!
    • Wikipedia.com- Information Sharing Source 684 Million visitors/ 9 million named accounts
    • Youtube.com- Video Sharing 5 billion online US videos 44% share of all online videos
    • Digg.com-Social News site #3 referring source of traffic to NY Times. 30K visitors/ month
    • Nielsen BuzzMetrics – created in 2006 by A.C. Nielsen to begin measuring social media
  • Questions? Dan O’Keeffe O’Keeffe Communications [email_address] 513.221.1526 www.okeeffecom.com