Local Government and Social Media - city of ghent

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Local government and the smart use of social media
Context of government communication

Euprera Spring Symposium 2010

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Local Government and Social Media - city of ghent

  1. 1. Euprera Spring Symposium 2010 Local Government & Social Media <ul><li>Bart Rosseau – strategic communications, City of Ghent </li></ul>
  2. 2. Context… <ul><li> … of government communication </li></ul><ul><li>Why should we use it? </li></ul><ul><li>What makes it difficult to use it? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Communicate what? <ul><li>Government communication is about POLICY </li></ul><ul><li>communicated by different actors </li></ul><ul><li>The process : Why ? Where ? How? </li></ul><ul><li>The product : What ? When ? </li></ul><ul><li>The most defining aspect : </li></ul><ul><li>We have to communicate/react even before the formal decision, </li></ul><ul><li>so the decision-making itself is part of the public arena </li></ul><ul><li>Who is “the government”? </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Decision making process : </li></ul><ul><li>1. Agendasetting - Public/Politicians/Stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>problem definition </li></ul><ul><li>public awareness </li></ul><ul><li>2. Preparation – Administration/Politicians </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>how where what when who </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>3. Formal Decision - Politicians </li></ul><ul><li>4. Implementation - Administration </li></ul><ul><li>5. Evaluation – Public/Politicians/Administration </li></ul><ul><li>Use of social media is relevant for every step, </li></ul><ul><li>but when is it most relevant coming from the government? </li></ul>Who speaks when?
  5. 5. A broad range A sample of subjects: (top items www.gent.be – 15/02/2010) - Klimaatbudget : sensibilisation about a greener city - Starting a commission about the retrieval of a Kokoscha Painting - Free tickets Flanders Horse Expo - Jeugdboekenweek - Applying for a grant for environmental organisations - Ghent city hosts the international Quality Congress - Open letter to public transport compagnie about routing frequency WITH ONE VOICE?
  6. 6. Why use social media? <ul><li>- Being there where the people are </li></ul><ul><li> - a personal approach? </li></ul><ul><li> - gauging public opinion? </li></ul><ul><li> - segmentation? </li></ul><ul><li>- A new audience? </li></ul><ul><li>- Additional to existing channels </li></ul><ul><li>- Have some control: </li></ul><ul><li>anybody can start something about Ghent </li></ul><ul><li>be the first to say it </li></ul><ul><li>Who is sending the message? A company profile? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Our experiences so far… <ul><li>Facebook & Linked-in </li></ul><ul><li>Core: leisure!!!!(cultural, tourism, …) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Musea (SMAK, MSK, Huis van Alijn) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Events (Gentse Feesten, WinWinbeurs, Jazz in ‘t park) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Campaigns (SWAP pas, Gentse Ondernemer, ….) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Exception : </li></ul><ul><li>Gent over Morgen: experiment with Facebook, Youtube, Gentblogt </li></ul><ul><li>- jan-mar 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>- public discussion about long term vision (Gent 2020) </li></ul><ul><li>- challenge: keep a positive atmosphere </li></ul><ul><li>- informal character was reason to use social media </li></ul><ul><li>- more creativity </li></ul><ul><li>- avoid intimidating aspect of talking to ‘the government’ </li></ul><ul><li>Online credibility? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Our experiences so far… <ul><li>- Challenge: how to maintain a consistent online corporate identity </li></ul><ul><li>It can be the right tool: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>using it wrong does more harm then not using it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>added value? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>tone of voice!!! </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Not all aspects of government communication </li></ul><ul><li>Is the public ready for Government 2.0? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Conclusion? <ul><li>We’re not trendsetters. </li></ul><ul><li>We don’t need to be. </li></ul><ul><li>www.gent.be </li></ul><ul><li>Gentinfo : 09 210 10 10 </li></ul>
  10. 10. references <ul><li>www.gent.be/gentovermorgen </li></ul><ul><li>www.gentblogt.be </li></ul><ul><li>www.youtube.com/gentovermorgen </li></ul><ul><li>Background : </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.kenniscentrumvlaamsesteden.be/samenwerken/participatie/interessante%20participatietrajecten/gent2020 (dutch) </li></ul><ul><li>www.gent.be </li></ul><ul><li>Gentinfo : 09 210 10 10 </li></ul>

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