By Bernetta Reese, Web and New Media Manager
This week FirstNet participated on a panel called “Social Media in Government: Making the Most of Your Investment” hosted by the Potomac Forum, Ltd. in Washington, D.C. The workshop was designed to review the current state of social communication technology and policy and discuss examples of how social media is being used and governed effectively. It also addressed future uses of technology and communications for social media and how staff managers and executives can measure and evaluate the benefits and outcomes for new media activities.
Representatives from several government agencies attended the event, some of whom were hearing about FirstNet for the first time. Joining me on the panel were Deputy Social Media Manager for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Jason Townsend and Social Media Analyst and Blog Chief for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Bob Burns, who is well known in the federal social media community as “Blogger Bob.”
During my presentation, I talked about FirstNet’s mission to establish the nation’s first high-speed, interoperable wireless broadband network for first responders and how we are using social media to engage and share information with public safety stakeholders at all levels of government. I also discussed FirstNet’s involvement in ongoing social media, open data, and technology-based initiatives within the federal government, including disaster and recovery response events and innovation demos, as well as discussions with the SocialGov and open data communities sponsored by the White House.
FirstNet is currently leveraging platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn to support our outreach efforts and is planning to launch additional channels soon. Since the launch of our website and Twitter account, we’ve had over 165,000 page views to FirstNet.gov and an average of 138 new Twitter followers each month, including public safety agencies, officials, associations, and organizations. We have also posted more than 70 blog entries highlighting FirstNet programs and personnel, as well as FirstNet activities in the states and territories.
Thanks again to the Potomac Forum for inviting FirstNet to participate in the event. Our participation in these kinds of initiatives helps to inform our own processes, shape ideas, discover useful practices, and gain insight as to how social media and data analysis is used throughout the emergency management community.