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

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  • 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

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