The Importance of Social Media for Gov

Dan Pfeiffer, former Senior Advisor to the President, took to Medium yesterday to talk about the importance of President Barack Obama’s new Twitter account, @POTUS. He makes three key points:

  1. Twitter (and really, social media in general) is the place to talk to the public.
  2. You have to “go where the conversation is happening” and “actively participate in it”.
  3. The President will have to be active on Twitter for this to work. He also notes, “Anything that breaks down barriers and brings the public and politicians closer together is a good thing.”

These apply to governments and not just politicians. Maybe even more so. It’s about time to stop pretending that public hearings, press releases (and newspapers), and town halls are the best place to interact with citizens. Those are three ways to meet your residents. I mentioned on Twitter last week, I think govs should use both online and newspaper channels (and every other way possible) to reach citizens.

Be Crazy Like Steve Jobs

I’ve read the Walter Isaacson biography of Steve Jobs. I’m waiting on a copy of Becoming Steve Jobs from the library. And I’ve been reading the disagreements over how Steve Jobs has been portrayed (Medium, NYTimes, Daring Fireball). All the fighting and PR seems to me to have gotten out of hand.

Steven Levy with Medium hits home:

In the long run, though, I believe that the disagreements about Jobs’s personality will have diminishing importance as future students of technology and culture seek to understand what Steve Jobs actually did, and how he did it.

Steven is right on, but it’s only a small point in a bigger article about the “war over Steve Jobs”.

The benefit of these biographies of Steve Jobs is learning about Steve’s mindset. He questioned every assumption in every project and made sure they aligned with a bigger vision. That’s what we need to remember about Steve Jobs. That’s what we need to focus on.

Do you want to change the world like Steve Jobs? I don’t think you need to read a book. Just be crazy:

My Local Government Motivation

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If you work in local government management and ever need a motivational boost, these are the sources I look back to:

L.P. Cookingham on his management philosophy, originally published in ICMA’s Public Management magazine in 1956. Also see the ELGL’s post on the topic.

The Effective Local Government Manager from ICMA.

This City, This Man: The Cookingham Era in Kansas City by Bill Gilbert.

Gov Social Media Authenticity

https://medium.com/backchannel/the-man-who-made-obama-viral-1c06bc3c8760

On the need for authenticity in social media for gov folks:

It has to be an engagement strategy of actually, like, going back and forth with people, responding to people who disagree with you, or thanking people who say nice things or favorite their tweets. That’s not a natural thing for folks in government because it’s not really what people are trained to do. There’s risk involved and your goal as someone who works in the White House or anywhere in government is to keep yourself off the front page of the newspaper and not get unwanted attention.