You’re a Politician Adopting Gov 2.0. What Do You Say To Your Constituents?

photo_102408_019Like many great leaders on the Web, I use this blog to put out ideas and thoughts hoping that they’ll be helpful to a broader audience than the folks I talk to day to day. My contributions are also increased immeasurably by the smart folks who discuss and critique these ideas.

Today, I’m talking about how a local politician can introduce a Web 2.0-style blog to their constituents. I believe local government is one of the best places to push Government 2.0, where the scale is reasonable and the mass media is doing little work.

What follows is a simple draft letter template to supporters (of course lacking many specifics in terms of policy and outreach). I’d love to have your thoughts, especially if you’re not in government.

What would you want from your local elected official’s blog?

“Dear Friends,

“I’m writing today to give you the first look at an exciting project we are working on to increase your access to and influence on my decision making. Later this month we will be officially launching a new blog Web site, which will include an events calendar, regular articles about projects and ideas I am working on, and opportunities for you to comment and advise me.

“I am very excited about how new communications technologies are making it easier to have people-focused government. This new Web site will give you an additional way to hear from and reach out to me, in addition to more traditional means such as official e-mail and by phone and mail.

“The blog will have a basic commenting policy to promote good dialogue, and I’m reaching out to your first because I value your input. I hope that you will leave your thoughts on my introductory post, and participate regularly in the discussion. You’ll also be able to easily sign up to receive each new article as an e-mail.

“This is just the first of many exciting things I’d like to bring to local government to increase your influence on City Hall. I hope you’ll join me in making it successful.”

What would you add?

3 thoughts on “You’re a Politician Adopting Gov 2.0. What Do You Say To Your Constituents?

  1. How about a call-to-action? Provide a link to an online survey to start the engagement and to identify key issues for you to build or refine a platform based on the wants, needs and ideas from constituents.

  2. I agree with dbevarly. I think the draft is great, my big thing with this is going beyond the letter and looking at the other ways to let people know he’s there! A letter to obvious supporters is great, but what about everyone else. Spreading the message that he’s there for them is priority #1. Because right now people don’t expect these kind of things from their officials and need to be made aware that they have this open communication available to them. Local press is one way & of course someone on his staff taking the time to search all the network sites for people living within the area he serves.

  3. @dbevarly That’s a great one. Especially since everyone has to prioritize their campaign promises and goals. Let the citizens help!
    @Meghan1018 I agree. I was thinking that you start with early IDs, then move to the broader community. The worst thing would be a bunch of people either ignoring the site, or trashing it from the get-go. How you start is how you finish (who said that?).

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