ALPENA, Michigan - Using social media to promote Michigan communities and the potential risks of doing so was the topic of a recent seminar in Alpena at the
Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. I had the opportunity to speak during the Oct. 7 session, “Social Media is Here – Is Your Community Ready.”
My role in the three-hour session was as the social media cheerleader and I discussed ways communities and municipal officials are already using Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, blogs and other social media outlets to promote their communities. Also speaking was Gene King, LEAF coordinator and a consultant for the Michigan Municipal League’s Loss Control program; and Audrey Forbush, attorney with the Plunkett and Cooney law firm. Gene and Audrey discussed current legal cases regarding social media and the steps communities should take when getting involved with social media. We all agreed that it’s important for communities to establish guidelines for employees when it comes to using social media and for communities to lay out a plan as to how it would like to use social media.
Using social media fits nicely into the League’s Center for 21st Century Communities program. The 21c3 program identifies eight assets that make for vibrant communities and one of those assets is messaging and technology. Getting involved in social media falls under that messaging and technology asset. The League also had three social media-related sessions during our 2010 Convention featuring experts from throughout the nation.
View additional photos from the Oct. 7 social media session here on Flickr. View photos from our 2010 Convention here. Read a recent Flint Journal article about how some Genesee County communities are using social media.
Matt Bach is director of communications for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at (734) 669-6317 or email@example.com.