A few prominent local government agencies here in DC recent lost their lead social media managers and, well, a few people voiced their frustration over the new tweets and posts. Anytime there is change there are bound to be a few hiccups.
But after checking out one of the accounts in question, it appeared they were:
- Being responsive
- There were no long lulls between updates
- It looked like business as usual
The frustration, I found out after asking a few questions, was not over responsiveness but HOW the account leads were responding. It was about engagement.
Now the former manager was witty, funny (too much for some people’s tastes) and really infused his personality into everything. He was going to be a tough act to follow. But the personality change – or lack of any personality – was so drastic for some that it raised a few eyebrows and started to negatively affect the brand.
This wasn’t a question of personal branding – very few people actually knew this manager’s name – but of voice. The account had, at least temporarily, lost its voice.
So when your lead gets ready to move on, how to you keep that voice consistent especially when it was so liked.
- Do you interview for funny and witty?
- Do you keep the wit and humor that people love tampered down to ensure it can be maintained after a departure?
- Or do you take the small brand hit and hope people will grow to love the new person?
We’ll kick of the new era of #localgovchat tonight at 9pm EST with this topic and more. Hope people can join us!
UPDATE 12:50 pm: Tim Craig from the Washington Post reports via Twitter that the DC Fire and EMS Twitter account will resume operations today, with no filter, and an additional back up resource. Kudos to DC Fire and EMS for making the right decision quickly.
I think it’s essential city leaders to understand why their decision was met with such criticism. We need to ensure those in charge of communications – especially at first-responder/life safety agencies – understand how important and powerful these tools can be. – MR
“Social media is for parties. We ain’t givin’ parties.” – Lon Walls, via @dcist_updates
With all of the ink given to debunk this antiquated mindset – especially in DC over the past two years with #snowmageddon, hurricanes, earthquakes – you’d think that a professional communicator would be the last person to utter those words.
But rather than ridicule and staying in the spirit of “If you get it, share it,” I thought we’d throw a little something for Mr. Walls.
And if we’re going to have a social media party, you’ve gotta invite some folks. So who is in?
1. FEMA is in. And they’re bringing Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Twitter. FEMA Director Craig Fugate had other plans but decided, “We can adjust much quicker if we can figure out how to have this two-way conversation and if we can look at the public as a resource. The public is putting out better situational awareness than many of our own agencies can.”
2. The Red Cross has RSVP’d. Four of five (80 percent) of the general and 69 percent of the online populations surveyed believe that national emergency response organizations should regularly monitor social media sites in order to respond promptly. And it turns out Red Cross will be coming with LAFD.
5. The Seattle Police Department is in the house.
6. New York City will be there.
8. You can count on Emergency Management – “the award-winning, all-hazards publication of record for emergency management” – to be the first to arrive.
9. And I know it can be expensive to throw a party. So the Crisis Commons folks have volunteered to help out.
10. We’ve also got a poster for the “get together.” Click it to enlarge.
Feel free to invite others in the comments section below.
Disclosure: I am a former communications director with the DC Government and helped lead the development of the city’s original social media strategy and launched the city’s first Twitter account @dcra and trained several others in effective use of these tools.
The Federal government just launched a national dialogue on ways to improve federal government websites by asking a simple question: What practices, policies, and principles should guide federal websites?
This dialogue is already extremely active and is broken down in specific categories and competencies.
So my question is: Can state and local governments learn from this exercise? Do state and local governments have the same pain points as federal websites?
Tonight we pull out some of the main topics from the dialogue and discuss.
Join us tonight at 9 EST. See you there!
Tonight’s Special Guest on #localgovchat: Reno’s Kristy ‘GovGirl’ Fifelski talks web, disasters, advertising
Fifelski’s most recent vlog on the ‘searchification’ of of government websites
Kristy manages the award-winning Reno.gov website and employee intranet by day and recently began an exciting new video blog to share her experiences, opinions and even reviews new technology. Oh, and she’s funny too.
With the earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and other things Mother Nature is throwing at us lately, Kristy will shed light on how to prepare, organize, respond and recover from disasters using the web.
There has also been a of discussion recently on whether government could leverage advertising during these tough budget times to bring us out of the red. And she’s got some opinions.
Join Kristy and the rest of the #localgovchat gang tonight 8/31 at 9 EST.
Quick thoughts on tonight’s discussion:
There are the politicians and there is the government. There is a distinct separation. Government social media accounts should promote and support services. The politician accounts should be used to support the special initiatives and agendas.
Government and services are continuous. Initiatives and agendas have (or should have) a clear beginning and end – like a politician. There is room for both. And there needs to be both to build a healthy social community.
Join us tonight on #localgovchat at 9 EST tonight. Follow the #hashtag and jump right in.
Join us at 9 EST for #localgovchat where we’ll be discussing user interface, communications, marketing apps and more. Can IT and Communications play nicely in the sandbox together? Or do we all need hybrid departments merge a little of each?
(And yes I’m at the park with my kids and needed a quick photo. )