Sunday, August 2, 2009

Gov 2.0: Using Facebook, Twitter to Reach the Public

An article in today's Detroit Free Press captured concisely some benefits of incorporating Facebook and Twitter into a government communications strategy. Here's an excerpt:

Cities turn to Facebook, Twitter to get message out

August 2, 2009

Local and state officials are turning to social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to quickly share information from job openings to accidents to upcoming events with a larger audience than they typically attract to their Web sites.

Residents may check in on a government Web site periodically, but most people log in to Facebook or follow
Twitter multiple times a day, officials said.

Read the full story

They're right. Hardly anyone wakes up every morning and trolls government sites for news or information. But everyone would like to know if there's a road closed on your way in to work, or if the DMV is on furlough on a day you're planning a visit.

Government agencies have a responsibility to do more than post a news release in a hard-to-find spot on their website if they actually hope to get their message out. We know that people are increasingly logging on to their Twitter and Facebook accounts in the morning, and throughout the day for news and updates. These are mediums that the public sector should embrace.

It's about more than being hip and trendy with technology, it's about transparency, and it's about public service.


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