Deliver Recovery Project Information Using Social Media

Implementing a social media campaign for delivery of recovery project related information is a good way for local government to test the use of social media. The demand for this information is there, and the tools are available at little to no cost.

So how would a local government accomplish this goal? First, the agency needs to assemble the staff that would be required to set up the social media tools and deliver the content. Mostly likely this would involve members of the IT department and the public works and engineering staff. If the staff is not already familiar with social media, the agency needs to arrange for a social media 101 session to introduce the tools and how they are used. Then the team should lay out the steps of the project delivery and decide where social media best fits into the picture.

This process creates a type of roadmap to implementation. From here, the IT department can set up the accounts and download any necessary software. Then the engineering and public works departments can begin creating content. Sometimes it helps to keep these efforts in house, if possible, while the team practices with the new tools and creates a few test posts. This helps everyone become more comfortable with the tools and techniques before going “live.” And it gives everyone a chance to comment and offer suggestions for improvements.

I set up a mock demo of a simple implementation of this plan for a typical engineering project – Recovery Project Example. In doing so, I chose to use the following social media tools for the purpose indicated:

  • Microblog (used Twitter, free): use to deliver short announcements of project milestones such as advertisement for bids, opening of bids, award of bid, pay estimates, etc.
  • Blog (used Blogger, free from Google): use as a type of project diary, indicating major milestones but also daily activities. Allows for comments by local citizens which increases understanding of the project and allows for input and suggestions for project improvement.
  • Photosharing (used Flickr, free or paid pro account): use for posting photos of the project site. Could create a group for the project and allow others to post related photos.
  • Widgets (used a weather widget available on Google, free): every resident needs to keep up with the weather – what better way than to post a weather widget.
  • Timeline: (used timeline tool from Dipity, free): a project timeline offers a quick, visual glance at the project execution.

  • There are probably more tools out there that could be used to enhance the delivery of information for a project. But I wanted to create a quick, easy example to show others how simple it really would be to set up something like this. If anyone decides to implement a social media program for a public works project and has any questions, feel free to send me an e-mail at