Local Government and Social Media Today

Are fingers being pointed at your local government agency to start using social media?

Are fingers being pointed at your local government agency to start using social media?

  • How are local governments using social media today?
  • Should your city consider adopting a social media strategy?

These are two questions that Susan Price from FireCat Studio and myself (Kristen from Cubit) spoke with urban planners about last Friday as part of the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association’s Planning Services Track, Technology and Planning Session in San Antonio.

Local Government and Social Media Today

A synopsis of the session is as follows. Community planning has traditionally been a written report with few images. Is your local government organization effectively using internet to communicate with its citizenry? How do you find suitable services for providing the information and effectively move your plans to the internet? Citizens and public leaders are asking for more information and analysis. The traditional planning report cannot provide this data in a manageable format. There is a need to present this information in geospatial format, data base and provide web access. This session provides a discussion of web-based presentation of planning data and introduction to software that provides analysis of this data, with possible projections based on the data analysis.

My favorite part of this presentation was the audience participation. Since 2 of the original panelists had to drop out, Susan and I leaned heavily on the audience to provide examples of how cities and other local government agencies were using social media today. We weren’t talking about possibilities as much as we were about actual examples. The audience asked and answered each other questions as well as made great suggestions. Folks were candid about what was working, and one brave soul shared the problems that their city was having with negative social media commenters. You can listen to the audio of the Local Government and Social Media presentation.

Wait, Weren’t You Filming This Presentation?

While I did film the presentation, I did a poor job of setting up the camera. The image that I captured is split between the speaker and the screen–so that you can’t see either very well. So instead of uploading poor video footage to YouTube, I created an audio file so you can listen to the presentation instead. And I’ll add “focus the camera on just the speaker if you can’t capture both the speaker and the screen when filming presentations” to my 6 Common Mistakes Made in Urban Planning Presentations post.

But You Can Get the Presentation Slides


What questions do you have about local government and social media? Please leave me a comment. Your questions will really help us improve these presentations in case we give them again in the future.

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