City of Cranbrook heads into a brave new digital world

The City of Cranbrook is embarking into the digital age with its updated Social Media Governance Policy.

Arne Petryshen

The City of Cranbrook is embarking into the digital age with its updated Social Media Governance Policy. The original policy was approved by the former council in August 2014 and was limited in scope to the City’s Facebook page. The new policy opens the City’s doors to the world of social media like Twitter and Instagram.

Coun. Wesly Graham wondered whether the policy was too specific to deal with the fast moving world of social media.

“Are we putting too much restriction on the policy —  a policy —  rather than allowing our staff to handle the issues as they arrive, rather than having to come back every couple years and amend it because maybe Instagram is better than Facebook now, or that kind of a thing.”

Maryse Laroux, director of Corporate Services, said she believes the policy has enough flexibility in terms of allowing city staff to decide on which social media platforms to use.

“There’s some flexibility with future social media,” Laroux said. “There’s also, within the policy imbedded, an annual review, so that we can determine if it’s a good value for staff efforts.”

The policy itself governs the publication, interaction and management of social media by city employees and by current and future members of council when it deals with city matters.

City staff updated the policy to include advertising, use of contests, use of destination sites and links to third party websites and features.

“These changes will provide additional tools to the Events and Marketing Manager to better promote concerts and other events at Western Financial Place,” wrote city staff.

“The updated policy also includes a Website and Social Media Privacy Statement, Council and Employee Comment Guidelines and Social Media Disclaimer documents.”

City staff have so far used the City’s Facebook page to assist in informing residents of the water main breaks on March 15 and 16, 2015. City staff noted that 9,407 people were reached through the post.

The policy comes as staff have had the opportunity to make sure it meets the legal and legislated requirements of the municipality.

“At this time, Administration is confident that the management of any City related social media sites can currently be handled with minimal impact to current staff time,” city staff noted.