GovLaunch: New Zealand’s “Social Media in Government: Hands-on Toolbox”

The New Zealand Government’s “Social Media in Government: Hands-on Toolbox” was written to assist practitioners with setting up social media accounts. The guide is written for public servants with limited exposure to social media tools and offers guidance on how to start using social media at their agency.

Here is a quick excerpt from the guide – the guide can be found here:

Social Media in Government: Hands-on Toolbox

1. Overview

This document has been written to help practitioners who are setting up social media profiles and using social media tools on a daily basis. It has been written for public servants with limited experience using social media, but also offers tools and tips that will be useful for those practitioners who have been using social media for some time.

This document:

  • provides useful examples of how social media is being used effectively by government agencies
  • gives an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the five core social media tools: social networks, media-sharing networks, blogs, wikis and forums
  • provides tips and templates for reporting, participation and moderation policies, accessibility issues, and legal considerations
  • does not offer advice on specific social media applications (for example, it does not specify the specific steps necessary to set up a Facebook page or a forum on Bang the Table)
  • is not meant to be read from start to finish, but rather to be used as a reference when facing specific issues or using specific tools.

Companion document

A companion document, entitled ‘Social Media in Government: High-level Guidance’ has been written to help organisations when they are trying to decide if they should use social media in a communications, community engagement, or a policy consultation context. It is intended to be useful to managers and leadership teams, but also provides basic principles, code of conduct issues, and templates that are important for practitioners of social media.

As with any communications channel, social media projects require proper planning, benefit and risk assessment, resourcing and commitment.

The ‘High-level Guidance’ document takes you through the issues that need to be considered before your organisation begins using social media. It offers information to help with benefit and risk assessment and, finally, a business case template designed to stimulate thinking around some of the key areas that need to be considered when planning to use social media.

Together, these two ‘Social Media in Government’ documents will help those willing to engage with social media to take positive action from which they and their organisations can benefit.

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