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8 Ways Government Can Engage Citizens – From GovGirl Kristy Fifelski

This week I sat in a webinar hosted by GovDelivery that featured “GovGirl” Kristy Fifelski. The title of the presentation was “You’re on Social Media…Now What?” Kristy walked through great examples and provided a handful of interesting case studies of social media from the state, local and federal level. You can listen to an archived version of the webinar here and slides are also available for you to view.

Kristy mentioned that she tries to “show the lighter side of government and still do important things to solve problems.” One of the overarching take-aways for me from the presentation was just that – solving problems. Kristy explored numerous examples of how social media was used to help facilitate a positive change in government.

During the presentation, I realized how closely a strong social media plan easily maps to a customer service policy. There are dozens of blog posts here on GovLoop about customer service, advising that agencies should be quickly responsive to citizen demands. So many interactions with constituents are now happening through social media, agencies need to be sure they are taking lessons learned from customer service, and applying them to social media.

Kristy mapped out eight ways to optimize government social media. Kristy did a great job running through all eight, you can take a look at her slides and listen to the webinar, but here they are real quick:

  1. Review Social Media Policies
  2. Train Staff
  3. Expand Channels
  4. Integrate Everywhere
  5. Use Mainstream References
  6. Solve Problems
  7. Plan for Emergencies
  8. Celebrate Success

I’d encourage you to listen to the webinar, lots of good information.

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Kristy Dalton

@Robert, Are you implying that government should not be concerned with citizen engagement, or are you genuinely searching for documented legitimacy?

Janina Rey Echols Harrison

It seems the issue of why government should be interested in engaging citizens should be clear. If citizens cannot see responsiveness to their needs, they begin to wonder IF they need those agencies. Government tends to grind slowly and the new social media requires faster decisions and change to keep up with it. How can you ignore the innovation and creativity that is available when you engage the public in their own governance? Government has to get away from trying to reassess it’s whole purpose and start by making one change at a time to meet the public’s expectations.