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.

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.

The Local Impact of Fiber

Susan Crawford has a great article on Medium about the benefits of fiber for cities.

This has become an even bigger topic since Google announced yesterday that they are expanding Google Fiber to even more cities across the United States.

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.

 

I’m a big fan of the U.S. Digital Service

Introducing the U.S. Digital Service:

Interacting with the government shouldn’t be a thing that you automatically dread.

-Mikey Dickerson

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.