When developing the social media voice for government organizations, comms pros face a singular challenge.
“As we know with government, there has been a kind of a tug-of-war around gaining trust,” explained April Leonard, social media manager for the City of Kansas City, Missouri. In the wake of a multi-year pandemic, trust in institutions and local government has been shaken.
And during a time of emotional pique, social media pros have a crucial responsibility.
The emotions of viewers are heavily affected by your content, explained Leonard. Handling that responsibly was her topic for Ragan’s Speechwriters and Public Affairs Virtual Conference on March 31.
Social media pros must embrace their role as public servants when working for government, Leonard believes. How are you serving your audience, asking for contributions and feedback? “Social media is not a one-way medium,” she added. “It is two-way communication.”
Bringing people together
One of the ways social media can provide a service is to bring audiences to places where they couldn’t go otherwise. During the pandemic, livestreaming and photo-sharing helped housebound audiences feel like a part of the broader community.