If innovation is going to happen – change is going to happen. If it’s going to happen in your communities, innovation will start and end with the people in this room. Community is a business, of sorts. Taxes are the revenue that’s needed to provide the services to the residents/businesses (customers). Economic Development is the marketing & sales effort to bring new residents and businesses in to increase the tax base / revenue to support and grow the services offered. The quality of life is an important investment for customer satisfaction for revenue retention… See? It’s very similar thought process. We’re here to look at Innovation & Technology in local government and I’ve been asked to give you a 30-minute overview on social media. How many of your cities or communities have a city-managed Facebook page? How many of you have a formal communication / marketing plan for your city? So let me say first – 30-minutes for a meaningful overview is difficult. My main goal is to have you leave this period no more confused than you already are. We’ll talk about what social media is and is not; Ways you, as the CEO or president of your community, can innovate and improve using social media I’m going to end highlighting the brilliant work being done by a small community of 6500 in Texas, where I’m from.
When you think about a social media strategy/effort for your community, the biggest mistake you can make is to think about it as a technology decision. Social media is a communication strategy. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. The Big 3 My Space, Flicker, YouTube, Digg, Foursquare, Yelp, all social media. Microsoft Word, Your website - probably. Adobe Acrobat. Not social media. All are computer applications. You can access all of them online. Applications that facilitate 2+ way communication flow online. Again – biggest mistake is looking at social media as a technology play – rather than a communication strategy. Social Media is about communication which is facilitated by advances in technology. Not Technology discussion. Think about your community and the multitude of ways communications are critical. At the highest level we can divide communications into internal – among city and town employees and external – city to the residents, businesses, world. I’m going to focus on external communication here, But don’t lose sight of the importance of good internal communication. There are social media applications that will support innovation internally as well as externally. Pierofix – Flickr.com Piero Fissore
Used to be, people would get the news from the crier in the town square. Then came the printed news – bulletins, newspapers then radio and TV. These are all still important mediums but are based on the broadcasting of information. Getting the word out via these traditional channels is still important but fewer and fewer people are actually getting their news and information from TV and newspapers. Davepatten on Flickr.com
Here’s how we get our information now. Here’s how we communicate now. With friends, family, co-workers. This may be a bit extreme, my friend Dana Moos up in Bar Harbor – MidCoast area. Real Estate / Cookbook author extraordinaire.. But the point is – Yes it’s technology that makes this possible, but it’s all about communication Dana Moos,
And the channels we’re using. Not only are we using these to get information but we’re using these platforms – social networks – in the way we used to use the town square. We’re connecting and visiting with each other. Getting to know each other, share pictures of our vacations, give our opinions about the movie we saw last night, the restaurant we ate at, the defective product we bought, Or how about what we think about the city counsel’s decision to give (or not to give) the town manager a raise… as the case may be. There are a myriad of ways innovate your communications. It’s like anything else, you have to have an objective. What do you want to happen? Before you go jumping into Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, have an idea of what you want to happen when you’re there. What do you want to learn? What do you want to communicate? Is it a place where residents can get information about a particular project and/or event and ask questions, leave feedback or collaborate with other residents about the issue? Is it a place for residents to post pictures and videos of what they like most about the community and things they’d like to see happen to make it better? What’s the objective? The objective will help you determine the best channel(s) to leverage. Matt Hamm on Flickr.com
Challenges: Yes. It’s innovation – it’s change – you’ve not done it before so there are things to work through. Experiment. “Why not? Why wouldn’t you want to be using these tools? Peter Robins, West Palm Beach – Quoting the Fels Institute of Government report ‘Making the Most of Social Media’… “The reality is, in our population we have people from newborns to 100 years old. We have every type of ethnicity you can imagine. For us not to try and do things to reach more people would be silly.” Tayrawr Fortune on Flickr.com
Face your fears. Most cities found their concerns about legality, increased workload, potential for public criticism to be management and even unwaranted Manage up: High-performing social media programs are typically led by communications officers that take direct responsibility for the effort & are supported by the important elected officials (who also often participate). Top down support is essential. Your support. Get Your Team Straight: What resources you will need and what limits you are likely to face. Support from and collaboration with city counsel/mayor; technology staff, heads from key departments Build Your Audience: INTEGRATE offline & online communications: social on website; cross promote – Press releases, email. Measurement initially is size of audience (# of fans) Find Your Voice: No RIGHT or WRONG way to use tools. Works better with regular posting – using various media, pictures, video, etc. and Interact. Don’t think communicating throught these channels is easy or that it’s the same as chatting on the phone. But it’s not rocket science either. Experiment and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Self-Evaluate: After a while you’ll get an idea of what people are attracted to, what they want to communicate on and around. You have an agenda / an objective – already established. You’ll get an idea for what’s working and what’s not – repeat what’s working and make changes to what’s not. This is planning, implementation, measuring, adjusting – same as any other project management. Get Started: Large and growing audience. Some of these tools are part of the mainstreem communication channels. The downside risk of using these tools is lessening day by day. At the same time the risk of NOT using these communication channels is increasing.
Phil With traditional means of communication, you are unaware of who receives your message.
Phil With web 2.0, you know who your audience is and you can even track how your initial message is continuing to spread.
Catalyst for this was Washington’s Transparency & Open Government initiative. Whitehouse.gov/open Objective: wanted to change the way government operated. Standard practices – the way they’d always done it – wasn’t working. They knew they needed major innovation – change. Wanted to create a more open & transparent community and tap into the collective intelligence of the city to uncover new ideas and solutions. Increase productivity and well-being – deepen the community. 30 minutes northeast of Austin, TX Population 6500
4 years ago – 2006: Population was around 5000. My sister lives in Elgin, TX about 15 miles further east. I’ve been to Manor. This picture isn’t far off. Trust me. Big changes were needed.
They developed ManorLabs.org, based on a technology platform that facilitated open communication. Residents – and non-residents alike could log-on submit ideas and suggestions, communicate with each other and the city officials. This is all well and good but it’s what they do with the ideas and suggestions that’s innovative.
Ideas are captured online: Incubation – Votes, page views, comments, Tons of ideas – User driven Validation – met popularity metrics: Dept head reviews for feasibility: what problem does it solve, what does it improve, is the idea sustainable, what costs, Emergent stage: Innovation Team meets (heads of departments) Discuss ease of implementation, pilot costs, potential partnership w/company – implemented or aborted Implemented or Aborted Implemented – Citizen is rewarded (virtual bucks traded for coupons to local businesses, etc.) OR Aborted – citizen is told why – costs, out of jurisdiction, etc. and process is repeated OTHER ways technology is improving their community…
See-Click-Fix Rather than calling or emailing – Mobile app (and online) into database prioritized – when fixed, individual is notified. Improved communication. Lose the ‘black hole’
Cityofmanor.org/smartcode/smartcode2 Description& story about the water tower – 100 feet tall built in 1935… and was the focal point of the movie What’s Eating Gilbert Grape with Johnnie Depp and Leonardo Dicaprio.
cityofmanor.org/s,smartcodes/jlpark.html Park history, subdivision information, attractions, game schedule.
24 QR-Codes (15 Equipped with RFID) Currently Deployed. Current Codes Are Deployed On City Projects, Places of Interest, City Buildings, and even a Lift Station. Businesses/Developer Training Program Pilot Testing 20 Additional QR-Codes Affixed To City Vehicles.
Broadband and Technology is the key
I’ll be happy to give you innovative thinking. What are the guidelines?
ME & NH Town Managers Meeting
Maine Town and City Management Association New Hampshire Municipal Management Association Making it Work : Technology and Innovation in Local Government
Challenges <ul><li>New technology </li></ul><ul><li>Hassle of management </li></ul><ul><li>Legal concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Public / Political Embarrassment </li></ul>
7 Best Practices to Getting Started <ul><li>Face Your Fears </li></ul><ul><li>Manage Up </li></ul><ul><li>Get Your Team Straight </li></ul><ul><li>Build Your Audience </li></ul><ul><li>Find Your Voice </li></ul><ul><li>Self-Evaluate </li></ul><ul><li>Get Started </li></ul>