City officials hope residents will LIKE the social media initiative

By Dan Aznoff | May 18, 2017
Courtesy of: City of Mill Creek

Mill Creek went into direct competition with teenagers and millennials earlier this month when the City Council approved plans to launch a social media initiative designed to provide real-time communications with residents and business owners.

The three-channel program went live went live on Wednesday, May 17, after the city completed the required archive of policies as required by law, according to Joni Kirk, the city’s director of Communications and Marketing.

“The city’s communications goals include creating awareness and understanding of the city’s places, programs and people, as well as being responsive and providing methods of feedback for residents,” Kirk said. “Social media is a much-needed tool to help us achieve these communications and outreach goals, and we are tremendously pleased to be putting this in place.”

Kirk said that Mill Creek had lagged behind other cities in Snohomish County in utilizing the most current trends in communication. Brier, Gold Bar, Sultan and Mill Creek were the only cities in the county without a presence on social media.

The city hopes to use the modern communication tool to share news and information, provide emergency alerts and severe weather updates, request feedback on programs and initiatives, highlight human interest items, and post employment opportunities, as well as a link to documents and registration forms.

“Using modern tools is vital as the city continues to professionalize its approach to local government,” Kirk said. “These tools don’t replace other communications tools; they simply complement how we are able to communicate, and enable the city to effectively reach a growing number of people who are relying on social networks for news and information.”

The plan approved by the council calls for the city to establish its presence on three platforms: Facebook (Facebook.com/MillCreekWA), Twitter (Twitter.com/MillCreekWA) and Instagram (Instagram.com/CityofMillCreek).

The city had 58 followers on Twitter and 51 followers on Instagram within 48 hours after going live. Links to all three social media sites are posted on the city of Mill Creek website.

Before the council voted to approve the plan, Kirk explained that people spend nearly two hours per day on social media channels, according to the Municipal Research and Services Center.

“Social media has become what cable news was 25 or 30 years ago, the central medium by which people gather news and information,” Kirk told the council. “In fact, according to Social Media Today, Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S., and is used by 79 percent of American internet users.”

Posts by city officials and outside parties on the city’s social media channels will be retained and subject to public inspection and copying per the Public Records Act and the associated Washington State Local Government Common Records Retention Schedule.

The city’s social media policy is available online at CityofMillCreek.com/SMpolicy.

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