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Metro Newsroom


Louisville Government A Top 10 Social Media City

Tuesday April 3, 2012

Louisville ranks 8th in national study on communicating via social media

The city’s voracious use of social media — from Facebook to Twitter to virtual Talk to Greg sessions — has earned Louisville Metro Government a top 10 ranking as one of America’s best social media cities.

A study by the University of Illinois Chicago ranked Louisville 8th, just behind New York, Seattle, Portland and San Francisco, among others.

“My administration has worked diligently to communicate directly to the public via social media,” Fischer said. “We have engaged and interacted with the citizens like never before and it’s an honor to be recognized as a model for other cities to follow.”

The national media study ranked and analyzed the country’s 75 largest cities’ online interactivity, transparency and accessibility. It examined local government websites and online, interactive government meetings, such as virtual Talk to Greg, where each quarter citizens can speak directly to the Mayor and his leadership team via Facebook and Twitter.

Fischer said communicating via social media adds a new level of transparency and accessibility that are hallmarks of his administration and are contained in the Citizens Bill or Rights.

Communications Director Chris Poynter said city government often breaks important news —such as the recent selection of the new police chief and the results of the MSD audit — on social media first, followed by traditional media later. He said the mayor’s virtual Talk to Greg sessions have been popular and allows people to talk directly to the mayor from their homes, their work or their smart phones.

In addition to the mayor’s social media outlets, numerous city departments and agencies also communicate via social media, from Metro Parks to Metro Animal Services.

Beth Niblock, the city’s chief information officer, said the social media effort is part of a broader strategy to bring most government services online. Within the past year, the city began offering text crime alerts by neighborhood and unveiled a Mobile311 application for smart phones, allowing citizens to report problems – such as potholes -- in real time with geocoded pictures.

The social media study found that Facebook and Twitter were used by nearly nine out of 10 of the largest U.S. cities.

The top-10 cities were ranked using a percentage scoring system:

1. New York — 93.33 percent
1. Seattle — 93.33 percent
2. Virginia Beach, Va. — 90.43 percent
3. Portland, Ore. — 90 percent
4. San Francisco — 89.36 percent
5. Kansas City, Mo. — 87.23 percent
6. Denver — 86.67 percent
7. Mesa, Ariz. — 85.11 percent
8. Louisville, Ky. — 84.44 percent
9. Philadelphia — 84.04 percent
9. Long Beach, Calif. — 84.04 percent
9. Sacramento, Calif. — 84.04 percent
10. San Jose, Calif. — 82.98 percent