City launches its new social media presence

June 11, 2013

By Peter Clark

The city has begun making a large push in the social media arena.

After rolling out accounts over the past several months, the Issaquah communications department invited citizens to join them at six different social media platforms to receive updates and become a part of civic discussion.

The city will initially employ Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest to engage the community and share information through e-news, pictures and ideas.

“Our main goal is reaching people where they are already at,” city Communications Manager Autumn Monahan said. “We want to be relevant to their day-to-day living where they can find it.”

“It’s another tool to use in an emergency,” she said of social media. “Also, we want to use social media to foster a dialogue with the community.”

In order to facilitate the city’s entrance into the social media sphere, Monahan said that a $60,000-a-year communications coordinator position was crafted out of the existing TV department. Former Issaquah Press reporter Warren Kagarise stepped in to fill that role in February, and has developed what platforms they would use and what manner of content would fill them. He has also worked on producing videos and finding other arenas in which to gain the public’s attention.

“Our whole goal is to be proactive,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of buttons we can push to let people know what’s going on.”

He said they plan to use the different platforms for different types of content. The communications team will use Twitter and Facebook for pushing out news and alerts. It will use Instagram to highlight beautiful Issaquah scenes. It plans to use Pinterest to collect ideas for weddings in Pickering Barn, information about sustainability and trail paths. YouTube will also extend the video services on the website.

He said that they looked at a number of different local and national social media teams to determine how they would go about their strategy. He said that they would continue to explore new ways to connect with the public.

“The great thing about social media is that people accept it into their lives,” he said. “I’m excited to see what comes next. We’re always on the lookout to see what’s around the bend.”

Monahan said that the city wanted to do social media the “right way” and responsibly serve the citizens of Issaquah.

“We were one of the first to have a TV channel from way back,” she said. “This is a way to broaden our scope. It’s a metric to see what people are looking for. It’s really a power tool.”

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