Two weeks ago, Mayor Nutter declared it NeighborWorks Week in Philadelphia. Our city was home to the NeighborWorks Training Institute (a professional development offering of workshops, symposiums and classes). The non-profit organization is one of the country’s preeminent leaders in affordable housing and community development.
As part of the training institute, Philly311’s Sheryl Johnson and Kimberly Adams gave a free workshop on “Empowering Residents to Action through Innovation and Social Media.” The workshop focused on Philly311’s engagement efforts, primarily through its implementation of the Philly311 Mobile App and its multi-platform social media strategy. This presentation gave nearly 30 community development professionals a case study in how to engage constituents across a variety of channels and how each channel can (and should) be leveraged differently.
While you should check out the full version of Empowering Residents to Action Using Social Media and Innovation, below are some of the key take-a-ways from the workshop:
- Building better communities usually requires a healthy mix of engagement, education and empowerment efforts.
- Meet your customers where they are. How do they prefer to communicate? (i.e. social media; mobile; web-based portals; face-to-face; etc.)
- Empower citizens by giving them tools that are easy to use.
- Use social media platforms differently. (Facebook can be used to facilitate and organize community projects; Twitter can be used to push out real-time information; etc.)
- Use analytic tools to better understand when and how to communicate with your customers on social media.
- Mobile applications allow customers to use your services around the clock.
- Adding widgets to mobile applications gives you the opportunity to push out information and different functions in real-time.
We hope you found both these tips and the presentation helpful. Please stay-tuned for Philly311’s newest engagement efforts which will soon expand across a number of new channels. Until then, check out some of Philly311’s recent videos on YouTube to find out how you can connect with city government.