Did you know 96% of 18 - 35 year olds are on a social network? And that facebook usage is up 40% since last year? In fact, 48% of young Americans say they find out about news through facebook! New technologies are transforming how we communicate our message, provide access to information, and receive meaningful feedback.
As planners, we are always looking for new and better ways to get more people involved in planning. In the past, local governments have relied on hosting public meetings, attending neighborhood meetings, and costly legal advertising to reach out to and hear from what can be a limited audience. No, the public meeting will not be going away, but the economic downturn has inspired public agencies across the country to be more creative in their outreach methods. The Weekly Planner is a great example of how the Planning Commission is cutting costs by using this eNews format rather than the expensive production, printing and mailing costs associated with hard-copy newsletters.
A multi-layered, multi-media approach has emerged as the best way to effectively and affordably reach out to a broader segment of the population. Social media has grown beyond expectations over the past few years. In the United States, twitter has nearly 106 million accounts, and facebook has roughly 150 million users.
Currently, the Planning Commission has more than 700 facebook friends and fans and is approaching 3000 followers on our twitter accounts. Our social media usage and multi-layered public involvement techniques have been recognized as a Best Practice by the FHWA (Federal Highway Administration) and FTA (Federal Transit Administration).
On May 17th, the Planning Commission will be hosting a Town Call, where thousands of Hillsborough County residents can participate from the comfort of their own homes and provide important feedback as we work together for a more sustainable future. Look for Town Call information in upcoming issues of The Weekly Planner. Until then, stay connected with us at:
Planning Commission web sites
Planning Commission on facebook
Planning Commission on twitter
Planning Commission on television
All regular meetings of the Planning Commission (normally 2nd Monday of each month at 2:00 p.m.), Metropolitan Planning Organization (normally 1st Tuesday of each month at 9:00 a.m.), and the annual public hearing of the Transportation Disadvantaged Coordinating Board are broadcast (and webcast) on HTV.