Tag Archives: GovLoop

Should Your Emergency Management Agency be on Vine?

Post by: Kim Stephens

vine-logoSome consideration ought to be given to adding the new video-sharing-mobile-application from Twitter called “Vine” to your Public Safety Organization’s communications toolbox. However, if you don’t have teenagers in your house you might not be sure what Vine is or what it could do for your organization. Currently, Vine is one of fastest growing video-sharing apps and tops Apple’s app download chart. Some Federal entities have noticed: the White House is already taking advantage of this new means of connecting to their audience and GovLoop recently posted an article titled “Vine: Government’s 6 seconds to Shine.”

What is it?

For detailed  background information on this new social sharing application, see Twitter’s FAQ page here, but in a nutshell, Vine allows users to post very short (only 6 seconds) of video content to the application via a smartphone. Other Vine users can follow you to see your posts, however, content is easily shared via either Facebook or Twitter and can also be embedded in a blog (as demonstrated below). In fact, “A post on Vine cannot be viewed outside of the Vine app unless it is shared on Twitter or Facebook, in which case a link for the video will be made publicly available.” The Vines loop–so unless you click away from the video it continues to play over and over, although this can be a bit annoying, it is actually pretty good feature for getting your point across.


Public Safety and Emergency Management organizations are having a hard enough time finding resources to post interesting content to the “big 3” social media sites–YouTube, Facebook and Twitter–so thinking about adding responsibility for another social network might seem ludicrous. However, in my opinion, the forced brevity of Vine actually makes it a great tool for preparedness messages and maybe even for protective action information/demonstrations. In terms of preparedness messaging, this video below is intended to be funny versus instructional, but it inspired me, nonetheless. (Click the x to hear the sound–otherwise it is muted.)

Although the Vine above is shot all at once, a great feature of the app is the ability to stop the action. Once recording from within the Vine app, to stop the scene you simply tap the screen of your smartphone and then tap again to restart.  This feature makes it a great way to create instructional snippets without having to edit the content post-production. See this cringe-worthy “How to Fail” video below by the same slapstick comedian from above (I hope this young man has a good relationship with his local EMTs).

Adding very short video content to your Agency’s Tweets and Facebook posts could be a very valuable asset. Instead of saying: If you catch on fire remember to “Stop Drop and Roll” you could actually demonstrate what to do. Similar demonstrations could be done for “Duck, Cover and Hold On” or  “Don’t drown–Turn Around.” Increasingly this is an image driven society–this tool provides another way to insert ourselves into the conversation.

Let me know–is your Agency considering Vine or have you already started using this tool? I’d love to see some public safety examples.

GovDelivery’s Social Media Visionary Kit

Post by: Kim Stephens

Image representing GovDelivery as depicted in ...

Image via CrunchBase

I want to bring attention today to a fantastic resource. This is not a blog post per se, but rather a link to GovDelivery’s Social Media Visionary Kit. The “kit” includes video’s of presentations  from Adam Connor, Steve Ressler, and David Kirkpatrick. Adam is the Associate Manager of Public Policy for Facebook and he provides 10 great tips for using social media for government. He addresses many topics including the “L” word–liability. The other two videos are from Steve Ressler, the co-founder of GovLoop and David Kirkpatrick, the author of “The Facebook Effect”.

Here is another article about the 10 tips Mr. Connor addresses: “Facebook’s Top 10 for Government“. My favorite tip is actually a resource list for government agencies.

Resources for Government:

    • “State & Local governments. Facebook provides an amended set of terms for State & Local government pages. View them here.
    • Security with DTM-09-026. The Department of Defense (DoD) outlines their policy and guidelines for the effective use of social networking. This DTM applies to all agencies within the DoD. If Facebook is blocked for your agency, this will [give you ammunition to get it unblocked. If the USArmy allows access, why not our agency?] .
    • Archiving capabilities. There isn’t an archiving tool within Facebook, but Adam offered up two options:Backupify, which backs up and restores data from popular online services (Google Apps, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and Nextpoint, which develops “cloud-based technology for legal and compliance needs.”
    • Interagency cooperation. Government agencies and organizations should remember that interagency cooperation on social networks can reap great rewards. Like with the unique GovDelivery Network, which allows different agencies and organizations to cross-promote their content and subscriptions to broaden their reach, interagency cooperation on social networks can help your agency increase its effectiveness.”

Here is the presentation from slideshare: