Ontario Pipeline - Fall 2013 - (Page 14)

FEATURE | SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGING RESIDENTS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA BY STEPHEN MURDOCH, SPECIAL TO ONTARIO PIPELINE S ocial media platforms have dramatically changed how we communicate. Rather than talking face-to-face or over the phone, we now e-mail, text or tweet each other. With this in mind, municipalities from coast to coast are communicating with their residents through social media platforms. Robb Fergusson, Acting Manager of Corporate Marketing and Communications for the City of Calgary, knows firsthand of the importance of communicating with residents in a timely fashion. “In the last seven months, our City faced two major water services crises. In June, the City of Calgary experienced heavy rainfall that triggered catastrophic flooding. And in “WHEN WE HAD TO ALERT RESIDENTS OF CALGARY OF A MAJOR WATERMAIN BREAK, SOCIAL MEDIA ALLOWED US TO REACH OUT TO MANY AT THE CLICK OF A BUTTON.” December, we faced a major watermain break that shut down the third-busiest freeway in Calgary for parts of four days,” Fergusson said. The 12-year veteran of the City of Calgary and his communications team use a variety of social media platforms to communicate with residents. “During the two water emergencies, we kept Calgarians up-to-date through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and our blog. Communicating through a number of social media platforms has served us well. Since establishing each of the social media channels, we have seen a steady increase in the number of users. Residents quickly turned to our social media platforms during each crisis so that they knew how it would impact their City,” Fergusson explained. Water Services, which manages the quality and delivery of Calgary’s water supply, like the other City departments, will continue to communicate with residents through their many social media platforms. “We take the task of ensuring quality water makes it way from the rivers to the taps very seriously. We also take the task of supplying information on a timely basis just as seriously. When a crisis happens, we want to supply information in a 14 | O N T A R I O P I P E L I N E | FALL 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Ontario Pipeline - Fall 2013

From the Publications Chair
The OWWA Report
The OMWA Report
The OWWEA Report
From Our AWWA Director
Using Social Media to Enhance Water Effi ciency, Public Education and Outreach
Engaging Residents through Social Media
WaterISAC – An Essential Part of Your Water or Wastewater Utility’s Security and Emergency Preparedness Toolbox
Committee Reports
Alliance for Water Effi ciency Helps Municipalities Develop Effective Water Conservation Programs
Don’t Flush … Your Drugs! Keep Our Source Waters Clean
Water Bytes
Water Testing in the Field – Guatemala
Demystifying Prefabricated Valve Chambers
Ask the Board
Certifi cation Corner
Welcome New Members
Calendar of Events
OWWEA Member Listing
Index of Advertisers | Ad.com

Ontario Pipeline - Fall 2013

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