People’s lives are now online and expect the same for the public sector – to deliver services, provide information, and engage with the population online, and in critical situations, real-time. One way to do this is through social media where people spend time doing their transactions, building relations and consuming information. In a space where information is circulated non-stop, online presence can put the public sector back in the driver seat when it comes to controlling the ongoing narrative.
Back on Justice Clearinghouse is Katie Nelson from the Mountain View Police Department (MVPD). She is MVPD’s Social Media and Public Relations Coordinator managing its social media accounts to provide the community with information and engagement.
Topics that Katie delved into on this session include:
- The significance of community engagement that is timely, responsive, and educational.
- The difference between an issue and a crisis.
- Utilizing social media as a risk management and relationship-enhancing tool that provides the audience with much-needed information and resolves issues before they get out of control.
- MVPD’s digital risk management effort through de-escalation, education, and engagement when a community member expressed dissent on their drone program.
- How an effective online presence helps build reputation and foster trust from the community.
- How Jacksonville Florida’s Sheriff’s Office leveraged social media as a risk mitigator in an active shooter incident by asserting authority as the sole source of accurate information.
- Why public agencies can no longer opt to stay silent amidst issues and crisis.
- Incorporating customer service principles into the public sector by being approachable and accessible, educating the public, and aiming to resolve the root of the issue.
- Practicing accountability when things go wrong by answering questions and concerns, and assure the community that something is being done to address and resolve the issue.
- The importance of online presence for the public sector in today’s world.
Katie clarified audience concerns involving:
- Using templates versus customized replies each time.
- Discerning which comments to engage with, which to ignore, and the time frame to respond to comments or questions.
- Tips on how to write a professional response to antagonistic comments.
- Researching for questions that require details that can only be acquired by going through official records or talking to the assigned responder.
- Including in the social media policy guidelines on how to handle spam and trolls.
Resources Mentioned in this Webinar
- “I really valued the real-life examples and the Q&A session.” — Carolyn
- “The entire webinar was very informative.” — David
- “Very informative. I will be using a few tips on our social media sites.” — Robert
- “Great information on responding to positive and negative comments.” — Rob
- “I loved the examples. It’s one thing to read a policy but to see one in action through another agency’s experience is great.” — Ryan
- “This was a great presentation! Very informative.” — Umar
- “How to deal with negative comments and the issue of blocking a citizen from continued, negative/rude comments.” — Vonda
- “This was an excellent webinar. Please have more on this topic or from this speaker.” — Ynez