News & Views

PS Principal Addresses Emerging Media Conferences

Last week, Pacific Strategies principal Matthew Cunningham participated in two panel discussions on the role of emerging media in politics, policy and governance.

On Wednesday, Cunningham was part of a RightOnline panel in Sacramento, organized by Americans for Prosperity as part of a training seminar to teach activists how to harness emerging media tools like blogs, FaceBook and Twitter to advance their causes.

On Friday, Cunningham joined founder Jim DeYong and others to speak to the California Women’s Leadership Association about the impact of emerging media, and offer insights into how to interact with blogs and other emerging media actors on the political stage.

Cunningham is a regularly invited to address conferences, luncheons and other events on topics related to emerging media. If your organization is considering including an emerging media segment or element to a future conference or event, Cunningham is available to speak, or assist in planning the program.

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Health Care Agencies Turning To Twitter

From the invaluable

In fighting the spread of the H1N1 influenza virus, county health agencies are turning to new weapons — social media such as Twitter and Facebook — to get the public’s attention.

“The big change in communications is that, traditionally, it was: ‘We’re the expert, listen to us, this is what you should do,’” said Kerry Shearer, communication and media officer for Sacramento County Public Health. “Now people turn to the Internet, they’re getting … a variety of information and they’re weighing the information there.

“It’s really a change in the way people collect information and it’s essential for public health agencies to be part of that conversation.”

SacPublicHealth’s Twitter site is on top of it, whether it’s a tease to a Web page with flood preparedness tips Jan. 21 or dozens of Tweets from H1N1 virus clinics giving timely reports about there being no lines. It culminated in a Jan. 15 Tweet thanking volunteers, staff and the community for pulling off 35 successful clinics with 42,000 people vaccinated.

You can read the rest of the article here.

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City of Santa Clarita Embraces Social Media

Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Pulskamp penned this column for, discussing how using social media has not only improved communications with residents, but  increased their positive  interaction with city government while saving money:

Sites like Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Twitter, initially geared towards the individual user and subsequently embraced by the private sector, are beginning to realize their potential for ushering new degrees of transparency, accessibility and participation in the public sector as well.

An early adopter in the use of social networking tools, Santa Clarita constantly explores different ways to leverage the use of these technologies to reach our residents.  A recent recipient of the 3CMA Award of Excellence for Social Networking, Santa Clarita’s management of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts allow us to interact with our residents and push content for a variety of purposes.  The City regularly uses social media to make City documents readily available for public review, to clarify decisions or provide correct information, as well as to promote City-sponsored events, programs and project status.

As our residents and people throughout the expanding local community become more comfortable with broadband and mobile technologies, the manner in which people want to receive their information will also change.  More than ever, social media technologies have supplanted “traditional” print advertising as the preferred and most cost effective way to reach municipal consumers.

Embracing the use of these technologies saves cities like Santa Clarita tens of thousands of dollars each year.

Leading the way in the City’s social media efforts in terms of effectiveness and sheer number of users is Twitter.  Santa Clarita’s Twitter account currently has over 1,200 followers and is growing every day.  Information such as noticed public meetings, City-sponsored events, press releases, emergency updates and road closures are synthesized to 140 characters and posted daily on our Twitter feed.

You can read the rest of Ken Pulskamp’s article here.

Santa Clarita doesn’t possess magical knowledge of social media. Rather, their city government wasn’t shy about experimenting with these vaulable, inexpensive tools and discovering their benefits — both expected and unexpected — as cost-saving public engagement tools.

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