Around lunchtime today, the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office soft launched an official Twitter account for City Attorney Dennis Herrera.
The policy development behind the launch is an example of Government 2.0 collaboration in action. I assisted in the effort, researching and discussing social-media-for-governance pitfalls and promise with media, outreach and IT strategists in-house and in other local, state and federal agencies.
The City Attorney’s Office then decided to pattern its official Twitter handle after successful accounts run by public servants in the State of Massachusetts. Instead of inventing a policy from scratch, we borrowed liberally from Mass., particularly focusing on the account for Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley.
The office sees Twitter as a communications channel that allows City Attorney Herrera’s work for the citizens of San Francisco to reach folks who might not regularly visit the City Attorney’s Web site, and for the office to communicate more informally than through the official City site. Twitter is envisioned as an expanded media and outreach effort, not a replacement for any existing services. Final policies for the account will closely mirror those of AG Coakley’s office.
I am assisting the City Attorney in official social media strategy, and helping run the account along with Matt Dorsey and Jack Song from communications. Only City Attorney Herrera will tweet in the first person from the account.
In the soft launch, the office tweeted about Prop. 8 news coverage, efforts by the City Attorney related to women’s health care and tenant protections, and said hello to Stephen Collins, a social media adviser from Australia, and to Debra Bowen, California’s trailblazing Secretary of State.
Please check out the City Attorney account, and continue to encourage your officials – whether your bosses or your representatives, to get active in social media. Onward and upward!