From 30,000 Feet to 3 Feet: Running a Federal Blog
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From 30,000 Feet to 3 Feet: Running a Federal Blog Presentation Transcript

  • 1. From 30,000 feet to 3 feet: Running a Federal Blog
  • 2. Mission, Mission, Mission
    • Why communicate?
    • What do they need to know?
    • What do you need to know?
  • 3. Why Blog?
    • Put a human face on the big blank box
    • Share personal stories of environmental thinking (e.g., buying a car, gardening)
    • Share the breadth of gov’t work
    • Speak in a new way
    • Supplement , not replace, other channels
  • 4. Comments
    • Simple, clear comment policy
        • Be civil (don’t attack or use vulgar language)
        • Don’t spam
        • Stay on topic
    • EPA’s experience: 10 months, 5500 comments, 10 nasty ones
  • 5. Criticism
    • You must accept it
    • It’s often useful
      • “You’ve abandoned your mission”
      • “You’re ripping off Americans”
      • “This blog’s a waste of taxpayer dollars”
    • If you don’t, you’ve wasted your credibility
    • Takeaway: people appreciate you listening
  • 6. Blogs and Government
    • 39 Active Federal Agency Public-Facing Blogs
      • usa.gov/Topics/Reference_Shelf/News/blog.shtml
    • Elected Official Blogs at All Levels
      • businessofgovernment.org/pdfs/WyldReportBlog.pdf
    • Webcontent.gov provides advice on government blogs
      • usa.gov/webcontent/technology/blogs.shtml
  • 7. Really Interesting Jobs http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=learn.whatlike.voljournal
  • 8. TSA: Operational Changes http://www.tsa.gov/blog
  • 9. Library of Congress: Talking about Lincoln Photos http://www.loc.gov/blog/
  • 10. EPA: Traveling on An Environmental Budget http://blog.usa.gov/roller/
  • 11. State Dept: Engaging Questions
  • 12. Putting a Human Face on Government
    • 6 GovGab.gov Bloggers at USA.gov
    • Colleen – Consumer information specialist
      • Newbie bureaucrat
      • Jake – Frequently Asked Questions
      • Rocker
      • Joanne – Web content manager
      • Mom, lives on farm
      • Nancy – TV, print and radio PSAs
      • Media whiz
      • Sam – Media specialist
      • Southern belle, shopper
      • Sommer – Web content manager
      • Midwesterner
  • 13. Blogging at EPA: Then Flow of The River
    • Author: Former Deputy Administrator Peacock
    • Subject: Managing EPA
    • Launch: July 2007
    • Whole new tone and style for gov’t
    • All Marcus: no ghost writing
    • Posted 2-3 times/week
      • Archived at http://epa.gov/flowoftheriver/
  • 14. Flow of the River: Launch Post For extra credit, identify all the words that would give hives to traditional public affairs
  • 15. Flow of the River: End Ended on Earth Day (April 22) 2008 to make way for new blog
  • 16. Blogging at EPA: Now Greenversations
    • Authors: about 30 people
      • Any EPA employee can write
      • Posted, comments moderated by public affairs
      • Reviewed only for serious legal issues
    • Subject: personal perspective on EPA’s work
    • Launch: April 2008
    • Still no ghost writing
    • Daily posts
  • 17. Greenversations: What?
    • Three weekly features
      • Question of the Week (Monday)
        • Gets the most comments: usually 50 or more
        • Some have received hundreds of responses
        • Advertised to 55,000 news release recipients
      • Science Wednesday
        • Run by research/development office
      • Bilingual Thursday
        • English/Spanish were in same post, now split
        • Managed by our Hispanic Liaison w/three writers
  • 18. Greenversations: How?
    • Write 200-400 words
      • Makes writing easier
      • Emphasizes quick info, keeps readers interested
      • Forces linking to deeper info
    • Use personal stories ( another example )
      • Engages reader
      • Shows we’re people with families, mortgages, etc.
      • Shows how daily life intersects with environmentalism
    • Use informal tone
      • Think “party conversation” instead of “news conference”
      • This is hard at first: not what you’re used to
  • 19. Greenversations: How?
    • Share how your work and personal life connect
    • Include graphics, videos, etc.
    • Use humor appropriately
    • Link to more detailed info (EPA and non-EPA)
    • Share a 2-sentence bio
    • Respond to comments
    • Help people find you by creating tags
  • 20. Greenversations: How?
    • Don’t:
      • Replicate news releases
      • Dump fact sheets
      • Have others write for you
      • Get into sticky legal territory
        • Regs under development
        • Open enforcement cases
      • Contradict or misrepresent EPA policy
  • 21. Greenversations: Where
    • Site: http:// blog.epa.gov
    • RSS: http:// blog.epa.gov /blog/feed
    • Twitter: http://twitter.com/greenversations
    • Widget for question of the week: http://www.epa.gov/widgets/#qotw
  • 22. Resources
    • Webcontent.gov on social media
      • webcontent.gov/technology/ other_tech.shtml
    • Federal Web Managers Council papers
      • Barriers, solutions, examples
      • webcontent.gov/ documents.shtml
    • Social Media Subcouncil Bookmarks
      • delicious.com/social_media_subcouncil
  • 23. Contact info
    • Jeffrey Levy
      • Email: [email_address]
      • Twitter: http://twitter.com/levyj413
    • EPA’s Blog, Greenversations
      • Main: blog.epa.gov
      • Twitter: twitter.com/greenversations