Twitter Guide for Government Agencies: Approval Process

Download the PDF: Thou Shalt Tweet! 15 Commandments for Government Agencies on Twitter


No one wants to go back ten times to get what is essentially the same content approved over and over again. The trick is to build in an approval process into your organization’s regular content approval process.


You will likely have some negotiating to do, so here’s what can help:

  • Propose a blanket approval for certain types of content. This can be news releases, ministerial announcements, etc – stuff that already gets approved more quickly!
  • For other types of content your organization produces that could be re-purposed as content for tweets, determine the level of approval. For example:
  • Ministerial photo galleries need approval from the minister’s office.
  • Program announcements need director general approval or above
  • Updated need director approval, etc.
  • Identify posting authority for different individuals. For example:
  • Your senior analyst can post tweets on this subject without approval
  • Interns/summer students can only tweet media releases
  • John Dough is authorized to tweet at his discretion on select topics during a crisis situation, etc.


Not only will this simplify the process down the line, it will considerably speed up your response time when you need it – a crucial part of using Twitter effectively.

Complete Listing of All 15 Twitter Commandments

This guide evolved from a post by Alain Lemay on GovLoop titled “Who Not to Follow On Twitter: A Guide for Public Sector Employees.” Alain is a Senior Web Communications Analyst for the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Agency in Canada. He graciously donated his time to assist in producing the 15 Commandments for Government Agencies on Twitter Guide in tandem with the GovLoop team.

  1. Thou Shalt Listen Before You Leap
  2. Thou Shalt Use Thy Profile Information Properly
  3. Thou Shalt Have a Disclaimer
  4. Thou Shalt Not Be a Bully (Nobody Likes a Bully!)
  5. Thou Shalt Tweet Regularly
  6. Thou Shalt Integrate My Tweet Approval Process
  7. Thou Shalt Not Register Alternate Accounts
  8. Thou Shalt Not Automate Thy Tweets
  9. Thou Tweet In the First Person
  10. Thou Shalt Not Bait and Switch
  11. Thou Shalt Not Spam
  12. Thou Shalt Be Selective About Who You Follow
  13. Thou Shalt Monitor Thy Account
  14. Thou Shalt Contribute to the Conversation
  15. Thou Shalt Measure for Success