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  • 1. Blogging & Social Media for Local Gov’t Leaders Leveraging your influencein a hyper-connected worldGriff Wigley, Wigley & Assoc League of Minnesota Cities 2013 Leadership Conferences
  • 2. Ray Cox & Scott NealRay Cox, MN House – blogger,2002-08Scott Neal, City Mgr, EdenPrairie/Edina – blogger, 2003-present
  • 3. Scott Neal• 1995 – Northfield City Administrator• 1996 – Online panel: State of the City• 2003 – Eden Prairie City Manager - Blog• 2010 – Edina City Manager - Blog
  • 4. Blogging for Civic Leaders
  • 5. Scott & Griff – UK connection
  • 6. Scott & Griff – UK connection
  • 7. What to expect today• WHY you should start a leadership blog and supplement it with social media, esp. Twitter & Facebook (leveraging your influence)• WHAT the content of good leadership blogging and tweeting looks like• HOW to be more effective at it; what to avoid• NO technical how-to• NO blogging or social media 101
  • 8. Who’s here?• Elected/appointed officials?• Administrators/staff?• Read blogs more than once/month?• Added a comment on a blog?• Have/had a blog?• Follow others on Twitter?• Have tweeted/retweeted?• Have a Facebook personal profile?• Have used the like, commented or share features on Facebook?• Have a Facebook page or have admin access to one?• Have a smartphone and use it with social media?
  • 9. Types of local gov’t blogs• Leadership blog• News/Department blog• Project blog• City of Edina (leadership, dept, project blogs)• City of Northfield (Downtown Parking Management project blog)
  • 10. A tale of two blog posts: The good, the bad, the ugly• City Manager Rick Cole, Ventura City, CA Honoring the ultimate sacrifice at Ivy Lawn on Memorial Day• Mayor Mike McGinn, Seattle, WA Weekend in pictures
  • 11. Why leaders avoid blogging & using social media in their jobs
  • 12. Why leaders avoid blogging & using social media in their jobs Fear and Loathing in the Executive Suite: Why Leaders Avoid Blogging and Other Social Media
  • 13. Lack of time/Tyranny of the urgent “My days are packed, and increasingly, work is encroaching on my evenings and weekends.Why would I add regular blogging or tweeting to my to-do list?”
  • 14. Fear of an increase in the flood of electronic messages“My email inbox is overflowing. I’ve gotumpteen voicemails piled up waiting for me. I’vegot no choice on dealing with the onslaught oftext messages on my mobile phone. If I startblogging or tweeting, it will just encouragepeople I don’t know or care about to contactme.”
  • 15. Social networking seems to require pointless socializing“I dont see the value in constantly socializingwith people I dont know. And I dont see how itwould scale: the more Id interact, then themore people would expect me to interact. Andfrom what I’ve read, people are nasty online.Why would I subject myself to that?”
  • 16. The literary skills required seem too demanding“I can handle giving a speech and beinginterviewed. But writing isn’t one of my strongsuits. I don’t need the aggravation of staring at ablank electronic page, wondering what to blogor tweet about. And trying to craft meaningfulstuff all the time would take more time than Idcare to devote.”
  • 17. The technical skills required seem too demandingI’m fine with email and Microsoft Office apps.But I’m no techie and I don’t have the time tolearn to blog and tweet and whatever else is thetechnology du jour, especially when one littlescrew up can get broadcast to the whole world.”
  • 18. Fear that once you blog or tweet something, you cant change your mind“If I take a public position now on somethingthat I may change my mind about later, I’ll looklike I’ve flip-flopped.”
  • 19. Blogging & tweeting seem narcissistic“Too many people think they’ve got so manyimportant things to say to the world so theydecide to start blogging and tweeting. Most ofit’s drivel. I’ve got no such delusions of grandeur.My musings arent that important.”
  • 20. Why a leadership blog?Strategic, near real-time,short storytelling used tomore effectively leverage your influence
  • 21. Why social media? Your audience has audiences & they use social media
  • 22. Why use blogs and social media?Leverage your influence to get important things done Interactive Circle of Influence graphic
  • 23. Blogging and social media for leaders Strategic, near real-time, short storytelling used to more effectively leverage your influence with your audience who has audiences
  • 24. What to blog & tweet?Answer the question:“What’s going on with my work this week that’s significant?”
  • 25. What to blog & tweet:Your (mainstream) media diet
  • 26. Leverage your media diet
  • 27. Leverage your media diet (small group; print)
  • 28. Leverage your media dietEmail attachments, small group
  • 29. Leverage your media diet(email links, small group)
  • 30. Leverage your media diet (disadvantages of using email for it)• Viruses• Spam filters• Forwarding chaos• Comment chaos• Exacerbates your email overload• Others can’t link to it• Others can’t search for it
  • 31. Leverage your media diet Use a blog postScott Neal• DOING WHAT WE DO BEST• “I DON’T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN TO HERE.”
  • 32. Leverage your media diet Use TwitterNewark, NJ Mayor Cory BookerTweet, May 17, 2009NY Times article on NJ Foreclosure:
  • 33. Leverage your media diet Use TwitterSeattle Mayor Mike McGinnRetweet Aug. 6, 2010RT @Aaronpickus: Scary article in@nytimes today about deep cuts in govtservices around the country #newseattle
  • 34. Leverage your media diet Use Twitter & a blog postShakopee Mayor Brad TabkeTweet: Jan. 2, 2013Dog park moving forward for #Shakopee in2013!! post: Shakopee Dog Park (Dec. 21, 2012)(image link to Shakopee Valley News story)
  • 35. Leverage your media diet (Advantages of a blog post/tweet)• Linkable (permalinks don’t expire)• Social media-ready: Easy for others to link to, retweet, ‘like’• Search engine-friendly• Appreciated by other sites (pings/trackbacks)• Comments optional; contained, archived, linkable
  • 36. Leverage your media diet Social media sharingArticle sidebar, footer, pop-up
  • 37. What to Blog: Provide recognitionScott NealDeb Fields, roof damageRobert Lawton, volunteer photographerThree staffersPaul Levy (CEO Hospital)Caller-outer of the month
  • 38. What to blog: Illustrate your values, mission, goalsThe mission of the Northfield Police Departmentis to enhance the quality of life in Northfield bydeveloping a close partnership with ourcommunity to solve problems, preserve thepeace and provide a safe environment for all…
  • 39. What to blog: Illustrate your values, mission, goals• Typical government (Scott Neal)• Lights, cameras, silver paint (Rick Cole)• Vacant stores, where we shop, how we support city services
  • 40. What to blog: Illustrate your values, mission, goals• Let’s have (urban) fun in 2012 (Northfield Councilor Betsey Buckheit)• Tuesday Night’s Marriage Amendment Debate (Shakopee Mayor Brad Tabke)
  • 41. What to blog: Teach the complexities of an issue• Funding of a pedestrian bridge or not (Scott Neal)• Public pay disconnect and the magic of dialogue (Rick Cole)
  • 42. What to blog: Teach about services, programs, departments• Hose testing (Scott Neal)• Edina PACE - Property Assessed Clean Energy
  • 43. What to blog: Explain a decision• Fire Department Decisions (Brad Tabke)• Financing the Public Safety Center- what and why (Betsey Buckheit)
  • 44. What to blog: Chronicle the unresolved & undecided• Chase the money (Scott Neal)• Golf dome decision• Passive enforcement• Meth problem (Ray Cox) – Blog post 1 – Blog post 2 – Blog post 3 – Blog post 4
  • 45. What not to blog• How you plan to vote• Anything about quasi-judicial functions (property, licenses, land use, etc)• Anything about your ex
  • 46. What to blog: Chronicle a slice of lifePutting a face on the faceless bureaucrat(Scott Neal)• Ultimate sunburn• Annual First Day of School• Turner’s heart birthday
  • 47. How to blog effectively:Use a voice of authenticity
  • 48. How to blog effectively: Use a voice of authenticityPeople tune out:• Memos• Press releases• Brochures• Reports, minutes“A meeting was held with representatives from Xcel Energy. Thepurpose of the meeting was to introduce Xcel’s new CommunityRelations Representative and to explore what Xcel could do to advancenumerous initiatives that are being explored in town. The moredetailed review of the proposals for the business and industrial parkcontinues. The review committee will meet again next Wednesday.Staff also attended several meetings related to the review process ofthe proposed Land Development Code.”
  • 49. Use a voice of authenticity• “I”• “Me”• “Mine”• “My”• Active vs passive voice
  • 50. How to blog effectively: Frame it with near real-time words• “Yesterday”• “Last week”• “On Monday”• “Tomorrow”• “Next week”
  • 51. How to blog effectively:First-person, near real-time
  • 52. How to blog effectively: Tell stories(The Sunday sermon)Why Sharing Stories Brings People Together: Ourbrains sync up when we tell storiesThe Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story isthe Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains
  • 53. How to blog effectively: Introduce a post with very simple stories• "I ran into a citizen in the hallway yesterday and she asked me…"• "My colleague, John Smith, handed me the latest issue of Minnesota Today this morning and suggested I read the article on…."• "On my way home from work last night, I passed the park near my house where…“• Small Town (Scott Neal)
  • 54. What to blog & tweet?Answer the question with alittle story:“What’s going on with my work this week that’s significant?”
  • 55. How to blog effectively: Link, link, link• It allows your readers to easily go deeper and broader• Search engine spiders come back more frequently when they see links in your posts, as their algorithms depend on them• Those you link to generally appreciate it and are more likely to link back
  • 56. How to blog effectively: Use images• Draws reader attention• Breaks up the text• Another way to inform (infographics)• Chase the money? (Scott Neal)• National Police Week
  • 57. How to blog effectively: Take your own photos & insert them• Edina heritage: Convention Grill (Scott Neal)• Good stuff from good staffTaking photos is hard. Tips:• Get close• “Fix your hair”• Allow for retakes
  • 58. How to blog effectively: Use it to answer your email“Can you repeat the question?”
  • 59. How to blog effectively: Optional interaction via comments• A blog is a bully pulpit, not a roundtable• A good speech is still a good speech without Q&A• Contact Me form• Comments occasionally enabled• Time-limited comments• Your participation is optional
  • 60. Open Meeting Law considerations• I think blogging by an elected official is fine; it’s the comments attached to a blog post that poses some risk because a quorum could end up commenting and thus, it could be seen as an unannounced public meeting under MN Open Meeting Law• My suggestion: Put your comments on ‘moderate mode’ so that you have to approve all comments (two clicks)• I think a post on a project blog by a local unit of gov’t could be done in such a way that a quorum could participate and not violate OML. Example: Northfield Public Schools Transformational Technology discussion
  • 61. How to blog effectively: Create a culture of civilityBroken windows and a safer andcleaner Ventura (Rick Cole)Griff Wigley’s civility guidelines• Avoid sarcasm• Addressing a person directly by first name when disagreeing with them• Public enforcement
  • 62. How to blog effectively: Reference comments in a post• Broken Windows II: Making a difference one neighborhood at a time (Rick Cole)
  • 63. How to blog effectively: Alert people when it’s updated• Email subscription• RSS Feed• Twitter feed – Scott Neal blog post example• Facebook Page wall post – Scott Neal blog post example
  • 64. Using Facebook• Use a Page, not your Profile• Kenyon, MN Police Dept Facebook page with Police Chief Lee Sjolander
  • 65. Promote your blog/Twitter feed• Email signature file• Business card• City website link• Bottom of letters to the editor/columns• Tweet all new blog posts• Post all new blog posts to appropriate Facebook page
  • 66. The Problems with a Group Blog• A leadership blog is a different tool than an information blog or a project blog• A group blog undermines individual incentive to excel and be acknowledged for it• If the group blog is neglected or done poorly, no one is accountable
  • 67. Misc Other Cautions• A blog is not a journal; be selective with your truths; picture a reporter with a live mic• Avoid deletion but make corrections and make them obvious• Reveal conflicts of interest• Beware your own ego if your blog becomes popular
  • 68. Group critique• Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak – Twitter: @MayorRTRybak – Blog: The Mayor Blog – Blog post: Pushing forward in the fight against gun violence• Shakopee Mayor Brad Tabke – Twitter: @MayorTabke – Blog: Moving Shakopee Forward – Blog post: Very productive meeting – 1/22/13
  • 69. Creating a blog: Blogger
  • 70. Creating a blog: WordPress
  • 71. Follow-up• My business blog:• My online course:
  • 72. Blogging & Social Media for Local Gov’t Leaders Leveraging your influencein a hyper-connected worldGriff Wigley, Wigley & Assoc League of Minnesota Cities 2013 Leadership Conferences