CCAP County News – Our first big magazine piece

The September/October 2012 issue of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania focuses on social media. Red Boot Media was invited to write about designing a social media plan for county government. The piece reviews some of the major points we stress when starting with social media and how to consider each one. Berks County Commissioner Christian Leinbach also shared some of his experiences using various tools to communicate with his constituency.

Click here to download a .pdf of the article.

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Will QR codes everywhere lead to a tourist boom for Gibraltar? –

Read the full post with all comments here. Originally posted 9/19/12 at 3:51 pm

A colleague who knows of my love of properly used QR codes just sent me this article about the city of Gibraltar. They will be placing QR codes at tourist attractions around the city that link to Wikipedia pages about that location.

Volunteers will be writing articles in several languages about important locations around the city, and officials are considering offering free WiFi for those concerned about roaming costs.

Read the full story here on the BBC web site.

What do you think of this idea? How can Gibraltar’s local government leverage success to benefit city residents?

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The individual approach to social media –

Read the full post with comments here. Originally posted 9/13/12 at 12:26 pm

Jack Hernandez, Red Boot Media’s Graphic Designer, shared some of his thoughts on designing a social media strategy for a client recently. We weren’t sure if it was his years of work with local government or his partnership with Red Boot Media that helped him craft this advice, but we thought it would be great to share either way!


Each client has a unique approach to social media and how they can use it, not just for the sake of social media but to benefit from it realistically. Here is how I approached a client recently when he asked me how relevant using social media would be for his business. His publicity manager had neglected to utilize Facebook effectively and because of that, he got the impression that Facebook had gone the way of Myspace.

Clients who aren’t social media savvy can easily be misled by others who don’t know quite what they’re doing themselves. My client asked me if Twitter was “good.” At that point I resolved to come up with a list of questions and suggestions that help him consider how Social Media would benefit him and which tools he would specifically find useful.

It’s not enough to come up with a basic list of questions and answers. The question “Who is your audience?” may be important, but it’s vague, and without pointing it out, a client may not realize who can potentially be his/her audience. Explain your suggestions and questions based on your client’s specific goals and product. Don’t be generic.

What do you personally hope to achieve through social media?
Ask yourself this without worrying about the limitations of technology and current social media capabilities. More than likely, there is a solution that will enable you to meet (and excel) those goals. Do you need a Facebook app that is effectively your web site? Do you want to link videos and open up a YouTube account? Really…anything is possible.

Who is your target audience(s)?
Your site is catered to a very niche clientele. Your Facebook page broadens the audience in that it makes your product more visible to others who are on Facebook, not just your friends but friends of those friends. People in the industry who start off on your official site also are drawn to your Facebook page for updates and developments. Through social media, you can update your audience with real-time developments and post images for visual impact. Twitter is a great if you intend to make very frequent real-time updates such as attending a conference or describing your activities throughout a big event.

Maximizing the social media coverage and broadening the target audience:
You have different sub-companies for each of your products. But you may consider having your Facebook business page represent all your products in general. The space available for your main graphic is large enough for to design something snazzy that will incorporate all your logos and a slogan. This will allow you to direct all your site visitors (from all your sites) to a central social media page where you can make more frequent updates.

Differentiating between your personal page and the business page:
It’s up to you to update your posts on the business page. If posts on your personal page highlight you receiving awards or going to conventions should be posting first on the business page, including images. From your business page, you can share your posts on your personal page, and potentially draw more “fans” to your business page.

Updating and maintaining:
In order to keep your Facebook page active, you need to be active. A few posts a week is a good way to update people and keep your product in their minds. More posts and gallery images if you’re attending a conference or receiving recognition for your achievements. Remember to reply to comments and questions that people post on your page. Social media is a dialogue!

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When your work family experiences the worst –

Read the full post with comments here. Originally posted 9/7/12 at 11:30 am.

Two weeks ago, my former association lost a long time employee after a rather short illness. He was just 57. He was very highly respected amongst his professional colleagues (of both political parties), his former colleagues, his high school friends, and pretty much anyone else who interacted with him. He was a social guy with a warm personality and made friends easily.

Most importantly, the younger staff looked to him as a mentor. There was no formal mentoring program in the office, but people gravitated towards him for advice, both professional and personal. He taught us how to dress like grown ups, how to navigate through legislation, and how to command respect from our elder colleagues and association members.

I never worked directly for him, but I knew him for 11 years, including 6 months as an intern and 9 years as a full time staffer, and I turned to him for advice countless times. Not being in the office anymore made me feel disconnected during his illness and the day of his passing, but the upbeat “Celebration of Life” that was held in his honor last week was a very comforting way for his work family to remember him.

This summer there have been several discussions about the work family and mentors on GovLoop. What happens when you lose a “work family” member? Have you ever worked in an office where this happened?

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Thanks for the old news, Twitter –

Read the original post with comments here. Originally posted 9/3/12 at 1:57 pm

A few weeks ago I noticed that Twitter kicked up their e-mail notifications. Because I have my “professional” Twitter account (@RedBootMedia….follow me and I’ll follow you back!), a personal account and an account I share with friends in a social group, I didn’t want to receive and e-mail each time I received a mention or direct message. That worked well until recently.

Now I receive not only a message about each new follower, but I have also been getting “@XYZ and 12 others have Tweets for you!” e-mails for all of my accounts. I’m sure they DO have Tweets for me, but most of them are either several days old or they are actually communications those accounts have with other users. I see almost no value to these e-mail round up messages.

Now, I’m a big fan of Twitter, so I’m a little confused by this move. Isn’t the point of this tool to have up-to-the-minute information? If I missed a week old “Top Tweet” what are the chances that information would be of value to me now? Does Twitter just want to send followers more e-mail?

Do you get these new messages from Twitter? Do you think the in-case-you-missed-it idea has value in the Twitter medium?

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