Your Sewer District and social media? How @neorsd is using it, learning from it, educating with it

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How and why is the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District using social media? This overview gives you the past, present and future of social media’s role in @neorsd’s communication, outreach, and education efforts, as well as tips to keep in mind in when using your own social networks.

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  • How and why is the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District using social media? Today’s presentation gives you the past, present and future of social media’s role in @neorsd’s communication, outreach, and education efforts.
  • We’ll set the stage by putting social media in perspective; we’ll look at our social media’s past, present, and future; and we’ll also talk about some practical tips for your own use of social media.
  • @neorsd serves 300,000+ accounts and more than 1,000,000 people. Some of the ways we reach them is by broadcasting our message to the entire group and letting each of them pick up on what information they need to hear. Social media is one way we break this very large group into smaller conversations, monitor them, and jump into dialogue within the conversations already taking place.
  • Why did the District consider social media as a means of reaching customers? Part of that answer begins with understanding our outreach in the big picture.
  • Our communication efforts include the work of Communications & Community Relations, the primary department helping to shape our outreach efforts, but many others are involved in making our outreach happen.
  • Our communications goal is to promote our work, educate customers and citizens, and inform them of the information they need to know.
  • Social media is changing (and already has changed) the game. These stats show just one MINUTE’s worth of activity on some of the more popular social networks.
  • Over the last 4 years, we have worked with Baldwin Wallace University in Berea to conduct customer-awareness surveys to determine how our communications efforts are being received, as well as how they can be improved.
  • A key question we ask customers is how they get information. What are your top sources of news?
  • Not surprisingly, TV and radio take the top billing.
  • But almost one-third of our customers use social media networks as a primary source of their news. How can we take better advantage of those platforms while complementing our existing communication efforts?
  • Social media offers opportunities traditional media (TV, radio, print) do not. By bringing all of these media together, we strengthen our ability to provide the customers the news, information and answers they need (even if they didn’t know they needed it).
  • Social media takes on a voice and a personality of its own.
  • Before we jumped into social media, we reviewed other similar organizations efforts, talked to employees about opportunities and potential obstacles, sought a better understanding of the expectations surrounding the various social networks, and found the networks that offered us the best opportunities to engage our public.
  • We have several social media accounts, but these are where we spend the most time monitoring, updating, and sharing.
  • As we review the District’s active accounts, we’ll discuss what kind of content works best (including what users’ expectations are) and why we find the account most useful. We’ll also showcase a few examples of how some companies or individuals make mistakes.
  • The points here are pretty straight forward. We’ll talk about the #fail component in more detail in upcoming slides.
  • All of our active accounts are promoted at the bottom of http://www.neorsd.org
  • Here are three examples of “social media stories” we found very successful in 2012.
  • Last year, we teamed up with NRDC on the release of their annual beach report. The findings weren’t pleasant, but our presence at their press conference showcased our commitment to making changes.
  • That afternoon, local FM talk show The Alan Cox Show (100.7 FM WMMS) discussed the report, and a caller shared his knowledge of the work we’re doing to clean things up. The audio clip is here: http://youtu.be/mp2Mv8ASavw
  • The next day, our Public Information Specialist pulled together some stats based on the caller’s comments, and emailed Alan Cox with a somewhat provocative subject line. We complemented that with a blog post shown above. Here’s the blog post: http://neorsd.blogspot.com/2012/06/radio-im-not-sure-we-can-use-that-in.html Alan proceeded to talk about the email, the beach report, and our work for almost a half hour during drive time that afternoon. And we tweeting right along with him. Here’s that exchange: http://youtu.be/BE8eCFiWd98
  • Another great example are two animal rescues our Sewer Maintenance crews managed in 2012. One was a puppy in February and another was an alligator in November. Here are their stories: http://neorsd.blogspot.com/2012/11/thanks-two-special-animals-are-grrrr.html Both stories earned us huge attention and a lot of shares in social media circles.
  • Lastly, Twitter has been a great way to answer a lot of questions from customers and businesses about the implications of stormwater fees and credit opportunities.
  • Whether you’re sharing as an official organizational voice, or just as an individual, there are some things you might want to keep in mind before you click “Share” or “Retweet.”
  • Social media is quickly blurring the line between personal and professional. It might be best to consider your social media activity as “profersonal.” You never know what might become public even if you intended it to be private.
  • This is an example. A previous summer student’s public Twitter profile featured this in a bio. It was not private, it was public, something any potential employer might see upon a search of the student’s name.
  • Once our @wallywaterdrop requested to follow the student, the account shortly thereafter became private and the public bio was changed. This was not at any request, but simply a change of course by the student.
  • In this example from January 29, even private social media activity has the potential of becoming public.
  • This was a post from Fast Company. The great line in red says it all. What are your social media account activities saying about you?
  • Does the Sewer District have an official social media policy for employees? No. We have two existing policies in our handbook that take precedent. We also have an internal document for our Communications staff that helps guide our official @neorsd social media activity and management.
  • We have big plans for growing our communication efforts in 2013. Here are just a few examples.
  • You never know where you’ll find an opportunity to join or start a conversation about the criticality of clean water.
  • Follow us and join the conversation today.
  • Your Sewer District and social media? How @neorsd is using it, learning from it, educating with it

    1. 1. #AAPNsocial
    2. 2. Perspective • Past/Present/Future • Practicality #AAPNsocial
    3. 3. @neorsd serves 300,000+ accounts and more than 1,000,000 people. Some of theways we reach them is by broadcasting our message to the entire group and lettingeach of them pick up on what information they need to hear. Social media is one waywe break this very large group into smaller conversations, monitor them, and jump intodialogue within the conversations already taking place.soulpancake.com #AAPNsocial
    4. 4. perspective what is social media? Conversational, timely, personal #AAPNsocial
    5. 5. pastWhy did the District considersocial media as a means ofreaching customers? Part of thatanswer begins with understandingour outreach in the big picture. how and why we started… #AAPNsocial
    6. 6. past: how + why Communications • Community Relations • Customer Service • Government AffairsOur communication efforts include the work ofCommunications & Community Relations, theprimary department helping to shape our outreachefforts, but many others are involved in making ouroutreach happen. #AAPNsocial
    7. 7. past: how + why • Promote/educate/inform • Connect with customersOur communications goal is to promote our work,educate customers and citizens, and inform them ofthe information they need to know. #AAPNsocial
    8. 8. Social media is changing (and already has changed) the game. These stats showjust one MINUTE’s worth of activity on some of the more popular social networks.http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/100-social-media-stats_b33696 #AAPNsocial
    9. 9. past: how + why Over the last 4 years, we have worked with Baldwin Wallace University in Berea to conduct customer-awareness surveys to determine how our communications efforts are being received, as well as how they can be improved. #AAPNsocial
    10. 10. past: how + why A key question we asked customers is how they get information. What are your top sources of news? #AAPNsocial
    11. 11. past: how + why #AAPNsocial
    12. 12. past: how + why But almost one-third of our customers use social media networks as a primary source of their news. How can we take better advantage of those platforms while complementing our existing communication efforts? #AAPNsocial
    13. 13. past: how + why • Promote/educate/inform • Connect with customers • Engage and converse • Unexpected, creative, timely, expansionSocial media offers opportunities traditional media (TV, radio, print) donot. By bringing all of these media together, we strengthen our abilityto provide the customers the news, information and answers theyneed (even if they didn’t know they needed it). #AAPNsocial
    14. 14. VOICE Social media takes on a voice and a personality of its own. #AAPNsocial
    15. 15. Before we jumped into social media, we reviewed other similar organizations efforts, talked to employeesabout opportunities and potential obstacles, sought a better understanding of the expectationssurrounding the various social networks, and found the networks that offered us the best opportunities toengage our public. #AAPNsocial
    16. 16. We have several social media accounts, but these are where wespend the most time monitoring, updating, and sharing. #AAPNsocial
    17. 17. present + practicality @wallywaterdrop @neorsd BEST: WHY: #fail:As we review the District’s active accounts, we’ll discuss what kind of contentworks best (including what users’ expectations are) and why we find theaccount most useful. We’ll also showcase a few examples of how somecompanies or individuals make mistakes. #AAPNsocial
    18. 18. present + practicality @wallywaterdrop @neorsd BEST: Timely, honest, personal, humorous WHY: Direct, immediate, conversational #fail: Private vs. publicThe points here are pretty straight forward. We’ll talk about the #failcomponent in more detail in upcoming slides. #AAPNsocial
    19. 19. present + practicality /YourSewerDistrict BEST: Visual, conversation, emotional WHY: Reconnect, share, promote #fail: Private vs. public #AAPNsocial
    20. 20. present + practicality /neorsdCCR BEST: Visual, brief, creative, accessible WHY: Variety, education, promotion #AAPNsocial
    21. 21. present + practicality neorsd.org/careers BEST: Opportunities, variety WHY: Recruiting, engagement #AAPNsocial
    22. 22. All of our active accounts are promoted at thebottom of http://www.neorsd.org #AAPNsocial
    23. 23. present + practicality Here are three examples of “social media stories” we found very successful in 2012. #AAPNsocial
    24. 24. Last year, we teamed up with NRDon the release of their annual beacreport. The findings weren’tpleasant, but our presence at theirpress conference showcased ourcommitment to making changes. #AAPNsocial
    25. 25. That afternoon, local FM talk show The Alan Cox Show (100.7 FMWMMS) discussed the report, and a caller shared his knowledge ofthe work we’re doing to clean things up. The audio clip is here:http://youtu.be/mp2Mv8ASavw #AAPNsocial
    26. 26. The next day, our PublicInformation Specialist pulledtogether some stats based on thecaller’s comments, and emailedAlan Cox with a somewhatprovocative subject line. Wecomplemented that with a blogpost shown here. Here’s the blogpost:http://neorsd.blogspot.com/2012/06/radio-im-not-sure-we-can-use-that-in.htmlAlan proceeded to talk about theemail, the beach report, and ourwork for almost a half hour duringdrive time that afternoon. And wetweeting right along with him.Here’s that exchange:http://youtu.be/BE8eCFiWd98 #AAPNsocial
    27. 27. Another great example are two animal rescues our Sewer Maintenance crews managed in 2012. One was apuppy in February and another was an alligator in November. Here are their stories:http://neorsd.blogspot.com/2012/11/thanks-two-special-animals-are-grrrr.htmlBoth stories earned us huge attention and a lot of shares in social media circles. #AAPNsocial
    28. 28. LubestopLastly, Twitter has been a great way to answer a lotof questions from customers and businesses aboutthe implications of stormwater fees and creditopportunities. #AAPNsocial
    29. 29. present + practicality Whether you’re sharing as an official organizational voice, or just as an individual, there are some things you might want to keep in mind before you click “Share” or “Retweet.” #AAPNsocial
    30. 30. present + practicality #profersonal Jason Seiden Social media is quickly blurring the line between personal and professional. It might be best to consider your social media activity as “profersonal.” You never know what might become public even if you intended it to be private. #AAPNsocial
    31. 31. :/This is an example. A previous summer student’s publicTwitter profile featured this in a bio. It was not private, itwas public, something any potential employer might seeupon a search of the student’s name. #AAPNsocial
    32. 32. :/ :)Once our @wallywaterdrop requested to follow thestudent, the account shortly thereafter became privateand the public bio was changed. This was not at anyrequest, but simply a change of course by the student. #AAPNsocial
    33. 33. In this example from January 29,even private social media activityhas the potential of becomingpublic. #AAPNsocial
    34. 34. #AAPNsocial
    35. 35. This was a post from Fast Company. The great linein red says it all. What are your social mediaaccount activities saying about you? #AAPNsocial
    36. 36. present + practicality Does the Sewer District have an official social media policy for employees? No. We have two existing policies in our handbook that take precedent. We also have an internal document for our Communications staff that helps guide our official @neorsd social media activity and management. #AAPNsocial
    37. 37. future: 2013 We have big plans for engaging social media in our communication efforts in 2013. Here are just a few examples. • Visuals (Photos, graphics) • Event engagement, contests • Beach monitoring • Media coverage • Project updates/blogs • “On the job” #AAPNsocial
    38. 38. You never know where you’ll find an opportunity to join or start aconversation about the criticality of clean water. #AAPNsocial
    39. 39. #AAPNsocial

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