See the latest news and insights around Information Governance, eDiscovery, Enterprise Collaboration, and Social Media.
The impact that COVID-19 has had is unprecedented. Of course, there is the impact of the disease itself, but it is also forcing organizations to continue to operate while a large portion of its employees work from home.
Back in 2014, the New York Police Department launched a social media initiative that at first glance seemed like a great way to improve community engagement. The law enforcement agency asked members of the public to tweet photos of themselves with NYPD officers using the hashtag #myNYPD.
With many schools boasting large and active communities, it’s unsurprising that social media has become a popular tool in education. Social media platforms offer an engaging way to share information and connect students, parents, and teachers. A Facebook page or Twitter account makes it easy to inform everyone that school has been closed because of snow, remind parents of important upcoming events, or simply celebrate the latest team win.
There are plenty of reasons why government organizations should be on social media. But there’s no denying that this technology is a bit of a double-edged sword; social media success is never guaranteed. At the lower end of the catastrophe scale, information officers spend a lot of time and effort on social media campaigns that end up having little engagement or real ROI. At the top-end of the scale, an agency has a very public pratfall and is forced to manage its reputation in real-time as a slew of angry comments rolls in.
Social media managers in the public sector have a lot to do. There are countless posts to create and schedule, accounts to moderate, comments and inquiries to respond to, campaigns to plan, and social ads to manage. And that’s focusing only on the social media side of things—many social media professionals have responsibilities that extend to managing website content, coordinating community initiatives with other agencies, and even writing press releases.
In the film, Jurassic Park, the character Ian Malcolm says: “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” He was talking about bringing dinosaurs back to life, of course, but social media managers should keep this quote in mind when it comes to selecting platforms for their particular organization.
Social media is a tremendously useful tool for government agencies, especially when it comes to engaging with citizens in an immediate yet affordable way. No other large-scale communication tool is as effective at generating two-way communication.
As we’ve written before, there are many great reasons why government agencies should be on social media. Whether it’s issuing critical updates, promoting valuable initiatives, sharing wins, or humanizing an organization, government agencies can benefit a lot from social media.
Like Police Departments and other government agencies, Fire Departments should be active on social media. In order to help facilitate this, the Firefighters Support Foundation (FSF) recently released a great new training program titled Social Media for Fire Departments. The training is provided by Ron Morgan (@morganrp), a firefighter and communications professional who has acted as the social media director for a number of public safety organizations.
For government organizations, social media can seem like a risky proposition. What if an employee posts something inappropriate that ends up embarrassing the agency? And what about those crude and inappropriate comments that public-sector Facebook pages and Twitter account are almost sure to attract?