Presented at the international conference at the TU Delft on the 17th of may, 2013. Hogeschool Utrecht, University of Applied Sciences, Research Group 'Crossmedia Communication in the Public Domain' (PubLab).
Social media and the government: living happily ever after?
Danielle van Wallinga firstname.lastname@example.orgHogeschool Utrecht, University of Applied SciencesResearch group ‘crossmedia communication in the public domain’Conference: Using ICT, Social Media and Mobile Technologies toFoster Self-Organisation in Urban and Neighbourhood Governance16-17th of May, 2013@PubLab
Research purposeQuestion raised in communicationpractice:What lessons can be learned on effectiveuse of social media?
Relevance• Changing needs & dynamics inorganizations/society (in interaction)• Staying ‘connected’ and ‘in tune’ with(complex) social environment• The government ≠ Big Brother watching overcitizensI-visie 2011-2015, Bekkers & Meijer, 2010, van Berlo, 2012, van Woerkum &Aarts, 2007 , I-vision 2011-2015
Challenges• Meaningful, interactive communication withcitizens• Realizing long term impact• Loosening control• Flexible planning• StrategyErnst & Young, 2011, Kok, 2011, Bekkers & Meijer, 2010
Research questions1. To what extent are the potential benefits of socialmedia realized in the public domain?2. How are networks being used in governmentcommunication via social media?3. What lessons can be learned on effective use ofsocial media?4. How do organizations face planning challenges?5. To what degree is the public involved in socialmedia projects?
Objectives of social media @governments (1)• Co-creation of cultural policy (Leiden) or futurevision (Borne)• Self-organization of a picnic (regional communityinitiative Kromme Rijn)• (Re) building trust in the (communication) processconcerning the construction of the North-SouthMetro line
Objectives of social media @governments (2)• Stimulating prosocial behavior (donorregistration)• Sharing knowledge (public service‘Rijkswaterstaat’)• Strengthening the image of a residential town(pilot housing in the Hague)• Informing citizens about police work (Twitter,Groningen)• Information about detours (Eindhoven)
Power of networks• Functions:– Giving an impulse to citizens’ interaction– Creating internal (organization) or external(society/target groups) support– Inspire citizens’ behavioural changeNetworks are being used to bring everyday livabilityissues closer to target groups in an interactive,personal way.
Citizens’ active involvement• Various communication functions occur andare combined in social media in the publicdomain.Informing, consulting, debating, co creating
I spend alot of timetravellingMatching citizens’ needsDetours affect mydaily routeI feelconnected withmy townI want to sharemy opnionI want to contribute insolving social issuesI want to stayinformedI don’t trust the governments’(communicative) approach
Lessons learned• Mix of various communication means– By combining specific characteristics of variousmedia, maximal impact can be realized.• Open, but flexible use of social media– Enabling unexpected results– Speed & amount of information
Organizational challenges• Flexible and gradual planning• Evaluating actions constantly• Based on ‘trial and error’• Being accountable for decisions andperformances?Communication method Van Ruler (2013)
For living happily ever after:1. Be reciprocal and interactive2. Be flexible and adaptable3. Be open and transparent4. Anticipate actively on the (changing) needsof your social environment.
Discussion• Affords of online and active participation• Embedding user-generated contentstructurally• Sustainability of social media• Strategy?