City of Sugar Land – Avoiding Social Media Turbulence

FY10 City Manager Established Strategic Project to figure out if we could do it and how to do it

-Evaluate Policy Needs First
-Establish Social Media as an Additional Official Commnication Tool
Leadership wanted to know
-What other local gov agencies currently using? Primarily interested in what other state of TX doing?
-What info being communicated?
-Policy/guidelines examples
Report back to City Manager and present findings and recommendations
Identify Potential Pilot Projects
Draft Policy
Narrowed down to 4 tools – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, flickr

Policy Needs
-Without policy there is nothing
-Soc media – as extension of city info and tools

-City manager must approve use
-Use must comploy with policy and applicable laws
-Communications Dept responsibility
-One presence per outlet – same branding
-Fit with established process
Recommended Pilot Project – Twitter
-Push info – not an open dialogue
-Tweet – press releases, event info, emergency info
-Emergency mgmt was a key way to sell social media
-Link draws users back to web site
-Did a press release
-Featured on home page
Measures of Success
-Click Through Rate
Lessons Learned
-Education is key
-Establish a plan with goals
-Let policy guide efforts not hinder
-Define success
-Measure Results
-Remember- Results are NOT instantenous

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Rob McNair-Huff

I understand the reticence to carry on actual conversations with residents through Twitter, but it seems to me that every city that uses Twitter as another way to spread news releases misses the opportunity to really engage citizens. It completely takes the “social” out of “social media.”