Transportation Issues Daily
Social media (or, as we prefer it, mobile media*) is changing the landscape of how organizations engage the public. Yet public agencies lag behind the private sector when it comes to using mobile media to gather information from and distribute information to customers and the public.
Mobile media is important to your agency for at least three reasons.
- More than a third of news consumers have quit using a news outlet because it no longer provided the news and information they expected it to, according to Pew’s State of the Media report.
- Second, 20-somethings and 30-somethings are not only not reading or watching the news, they’re often not even using a computer.
- Adults are increasingly using mobile media, and in part to engage in civic issues. For example, Pew reports that 39% of all American adults took part in some sort of political activity on a social networking site during the 2012 campaign (“Civic Engagement in the Digital Age“). Sure, that was politics, but take it as a sign that the use of mobile media is moving beyond simply checking into what your friends and family are up to.
In “What to consider when your audience is mobile,” Lloyd Brown explains in less than 350 words why public agencies need to look beyond simply having a website, and implement a mobile media strategy. If you’re looking for a quick case study, check out Brown’s story about the Arizona DOT using social media as part of a comprehensive communications program about an emergency construction situation.
“For Planners, Investment in Social Media Pays Dividends,” is a longer story from Jessica Hsu, Public Information Officer for the City of San Gabriel. Hu looks at two case studies for using social media to connect with communities. She notes that “with the right approach, social media can expedite the exchange of information between stakeholders, facilitate participatory planning, and build better places.”
*Lloyd Brown makes the case: Defining social media as what it is: Mobile media
Cover photo: St. Peter’s Square between 2005 and 2013 Image: AP/Michal Sohn via NBC News.
Larry Ehl is the founder and publisher of Transportation Issues Daily. In the public sector, Larry was Federal Relations Manager for Washington State DOT; Chief of Staff to US Senator Slade Gorton; and was twice elected to the Edmonds School Board.