Engaging citizens in social media doesn’t mean posting your news releases on Facebook

Government agencies still do not get social media. Well, most of them. They are still applying traditional media and PR tactics and it’s not really working.

I have been looking around at trying to find good examples of government using social media well and I’m having a tough time finding it.

My observations and research have lead me to believe that social networking sites are basically being used as a newsfeed and place to post things that are not news release worthy.

Nobody cares about the leftovers. They’re not going to engage with that. Government communications departments really need to be more creative with their delivery to citizens.

It’s very apparent that government is still stuck in the old ways of conducting business and hasn’t had the incentive to institute the new rules of marketing and PR.

It has to change. If government didn’t have a guaranteed revenue stream, I’m pretty sure it would have gone out of business a long time ago. Because nobody is buying what is being sold.

I know it can be hard. Government doesn’t always have the sexiest things to talk about. But it’s a part of society and people need to be educated about how government works and what the benefits are for the general public.

New media offers a chance for government to open the doors, talk with people and sell them on the importance of the different aspects of government.

So far, all I have seen is what amounts to setting sail without a direction in mind or any oars to correct course.

Maybe if government communicators spent some time with corporate communicators or agencies they could see how social media really could work for them.

I’d love to be proven wrong. If you know of a great government communications or marketing plan, share it with me. Until then, government has a lot of work to do to engage the masses.

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