Jump into Social Media

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A recently released report from the Fels Institute of Government urges cities to get started in using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  It notes that all of the concerns about legal issues, increased workload, and potential for public criticism are manageable and unwarranted.

Through interviews with a mixture of public information staff, information technology directors, and mayor’s offices the researchers identified seven promising practices.   While the general theme is one of experimentation and finding what works for the specific locality, the importance of the enthusiastic participation of the mayor’s office, information technology staff and public information officers is critical.

Making the Most of Social Media, 7 Lessons from Successful Cities is a valuable early guide to this new strategy for getting information out to citizens.   It is one of the Promising Practice Report series.