Public Administration role in social media approach

How Public Administration should approach social media

There is an ancestral need in human being to let a “sign”, a kind of fingerprint which face to talk about ourselves in the future, which does not correspond actually in a similar capacity to interpret and process that sign by the interlocutor.

In prehistoric times were the rock paintings depicting hunting or dance scenes that still we do not know exactly if they had a purely artistic or if they had a symbolic meaning, such as the centrality of the hunt, the relationship between man and animal, the sacredness of the dance, etc.

Nowadays, text, images, tweets, videos we post on social media are the new signs through which we express our tastes and moods, there we georeference and immortalize ourselves in our supposed best shape. Compared to our prehistoric ancestors we have the gift of writing, that allows us to be potentially more effective in our utterances.

However then, as now, the communication process is interrupted and the message does not reach its destination intact; perhaps because the man is biologically social but unfortunately culturally individualist, and his inability to communicate is related to not being able to really listen to what is being said? Moreover that is the reason why we privilege statements against questions, that could challenge our certainties and creep doubts in us …

While it is rather simple explicit ourselves through social (state what I like or do, or what i don’t like, where I am right now, what are my skills, my hobbies and so on) is certainly more nebulous identify to whom is being addressed this information or even what is understood by the hypothetical recipient.

Leaving aside the issues on the target audience you want to reach; rather we want to stimulate a discussion on how to bring out the authentic interaction between stakeholders; a private company, having to promote its brand and sell its products, will certainly look for people that reflects its own image and recognises its specificities, or better it will look to shape a public that could be recognised in its products.

An exemplary presence of the public administration on social should instead be aimed not to search for a consensus, but rather to bring out a problem and identify critical issues through stimulating interaction, passing through phases of listening and observation, to help understand the needs of the citizen and the community in general.

Should we see this with an example, the kind of approach that the public authority should have on the social, we might imagine it like this:

social media approach

social media approach

For sure it is not easy or immediate, but it is essential if it is true that communicate with each other, exchange information is natural; take into account information we are given is culture.

If it is normal that a company leverages on its human nature, it is essential that the Public Authority is leveraging on the culture, in a two-way process that allows to identify the critical points that need work, the programmed tasks, goals to be achieved, the results presentation, the monitoring of the effectiveness of the results. And culture requires information, education and lucid logic of public service to be addressed to the people communities.

Paola Chiesa

twitter: @chiesa_paola