What Other Cities Can Learn From Philadelphia’s Social Media Guidelines

In today’s 24/7 digital environment, cities and other
municipalities are embracing social media as a way of interacting
with their citizens as part of an ongoing dialogue. Moreover, the
most progressive of these cities are actively encouraging their
employees and city officials to maintain an active presence on
social media, and are giving them helpful guidelines on how to be
good online citizens. The City of Philadelphia, for example,
created a social
media policy
 in April 2017 that has helped the city expand its
communication, collaboration and information exchange with its
residents.

Share what you do online

There’s one quote from the new social media policy that really
stands out and helps to illustrate how much government
has changed due to social media
: “If you don’t tweet it, it
didn’t happen.” That quote, attributed to Jane Slusser,
Former Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Philadelphia, tells you all
that you need to know about government officials in the era of
social media: if you want people in the community to appreciate the
work you do, you have to tell people about it.

Take a look, for example, at the Twitter account for Mayor Jim
Kenney (@PhillyMayor). There are
regular updates about things that matter to everyday citizens, from
improvements in public transit (city buses that run faster!) to
improvements to how potholes are fixed in the city. Moreover, the
Philly mayor has triumphantly declared that all city spending is
now going to be more transparent than ever, inviting residents to
have a look for themselves at how the city’s multi-billion-dollar
budget is spent.

Be mindful of your role as a public employee

While city government officials are told to be active online and
share what they’re doing, they’re also given a number of
guidelines for what they should be sharing (and how they should be
sharing it). For example, employees shouldn’t be posting
classified information online (Hey, Washington insiders,
did you hear that?)
, and they should be making sure that
they are not violating any political activity rules when they are
posting content. Moreover, they should keep in mind that anything
they say online might be misinterpreted, misquoted or
misunderstood. One quote within the social media guidelines is
particularly instructive: “It’s not what you say, it’s what
people hear.” So be careful about using sarcasm or irony as part
of any message.

Make it fun and informative

Finally, the city makes clear that all social
media content
 should be “equal parts fun and informative.”
It’s important to inject a sense of personality into your
account, and that all starts with the profile for the account. Make
sure you’re letting your individuality shine through, while also
following some commonsense rules of the road (e.g. no hate speech,
no threats). That type of “fun and informative” approach to
social media is what has made possible a number of unique events
throughout the city that have the full support of government
officials, such as Philly Tech Week (scheduled for the first week
of May this year).

Final Thought

Gone are the days when government officials can afford to be
gray, unknown bureaucrats. In today’s social media era, all
government officials need to understand how popular social media
platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can be used as
communication and collaboration tools for the entire city.

The post
What Other Cities Can Learn From Philadelphia’s Social Media
Guidelines
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Source: FS – Social Media Blogs 2
What Other Cities Can Learn From Philadelphia’s Social Media Guidelines