- Twitter (and really, social media in general) is the place to talk to the public.
- You have to “go where the conversation is happening” and “actively participate in it”.
- 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.
If you work in local government management and ever need a motivational boost, these are the sources I look back to:
The Effective Local Government Manager from ICMA.
This City, This Man: The Cookingham Era in Kansas City by Bill Gilbert.
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.
I continue to believe that fiber is single best economic development project a municipality can fund. See here, here, here and here. But as fiber continues to roll out in more towns, the advantage won’t be there much longer.
Introducing the U.S. Digital Service:
Interacting with the government shouldn’t be a thing that you automatically dread.
Every one of us in government, this should be our goal, every day.
While I love what the USDS is doing, I find it a little sad that half the discussion centers around what Mikey wears to work. Who cares? We should be talking about his results and his goals, not dress code.
And that was my single biggest frustration during my time at the city — we were constantly using 20th century answers to problems that required a 21st century solution.