Common-Nature

July 20, 2009

Making everyone in your agency a communicator

Filed under: Government, social networking — kirk @ 9:17 pm

imageThe week is going by pretty fast as I prepare for the GovTech Minnesota Digital Government Summit.

As I’m getting ready to co-present on the use of social media in government, I’ve realized the possibly the best example of how government should engage social media can be found with the Air Force.

Take a look at their publication, New Media and the Air Force. For one thing, the publication is a great primer on many of the terms used in social media. However, the following three observations made in the publication strike me as important when it comes to social media:

  1. The Air Force encourages Airmen to use it.
  2. All Airmen (not just PR folks) are communicators.
  3. If the Air Force doesn’t tell its story, someone else will.

This isn’t just lip service. As David Meerman Scott pointed out in a blog post in 2008, the Air Force is actively engaging and training their staff to use social media. Capt. David Faggard, Chief of Emerging Technology for the Air Force, has even created a handy little flowchart that anyone could use to guide staff on how to engage social media.

One of the big issues government agencies make for not using social media is that they have no available staff. However, look at what the Air Force is doing. They’ve realized that social media depends on individuals with different social networks. Social media is often a personal exchange of information. This means you have to use everyone in your agency.

The key is training them on what social media is and how they can use it. Then empower them to use it.

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