Great video of how the Salt Lake Valley Health Department uses social media tools like Twitter and Facebook to communicate H1N1 information to citizens and media.
What was your path to Gov 2.0?
I’m a communications guy by trade, working in media relations and strategic communications for nearly two decades. Over the last 10 years or so I’ve worked in and around the public sector for organizations like Sprint, BearingPoint and now with Deloitte. Around 24 months ago, it became obvious to me that new technologies and tools were fundamentally changing the way communicators worked — the way reporters interacted with sources, the way organizations disseminated information, the way citizens expected to interact with their government. While I was familiar with eGov initiatives and the web 1.0 services that federal, state and local governments were providing (ordering birth certificates or publishing reports on line and such), it was less apparent to me how new channels like Twitter, YouTube, FaceBook, MySpace and the like could be applied to the public sector. After all, these were “social” tools and seemed more fitting for lighter discussions and interactions, or maybe more relevant for the technology sector, not the business of government.
One of the aspects of Gov 2.0 that I think is making excellent progress is in the area of healthcare and social media. Not only are private healthcare organizations beginning to embrace this technology, but government agencies are also beginning to make use of these powerful tools.
Efforts to distribute accurate information about the dangers of swine flu and the importance of vaccination are hampered by the sheer complexity of the message. Social media tools are being utilized to assist in this effort. Using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogs, the government is actively engaged in social media to harness the power of this platform to reach a new audience and provide real time information. Social media is a powerful new method of healthy communication.