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Should Waltham Hire A Social Media Manager?

Tell us whether Waltham should hire a social media manager.

With some Waltham residents and councilors calling for more and improved use of social media to disseminate crucial city updates, could it be time for the city to hire a full-time social media manager?

While Waltham Police are active on social media and distribute such updates, they currently do not have enough trained officers to manage it around the clock. The city government currently lacks a dedicatedsocial media manager who could manage all of the city's communications on social media.

Waltham resident Dave Cutler has suggested, on his Twitter feed, the city hire a new person into a similar position. Cutler is a social media manager for a private firm in Somerville.

The idea is already alive in Belmont. Belmont recently hired a social media manager who plans to answer constituent questions on various social media platforms and update the city's website, according to the Boston Globe.  Mayor Jeannette McCarthy has expressed a willingness to improve the city government’s use of social media to update residents on school closings, trash service but said she needs to "look into it." 

 

Mary Contrary February 17, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Waltham has reverse 911 which I believe Belmont does not have. I feel reverse 911 is much more efficient than twitter, facebook etc.
Tina February 17, 2013 at 02:53 PM
Believe it or not, there are some people out there who do not use social media or computers. Hiring a full-time social media manager seems like a frivolous and wasteful expense, considering all the other needs in Waltham.
Jen P February 17, 2013 at 03:09 PM
I think it should be City Web page manager + social media coordinator. The web page still needs work.
charliemingus February 17, 2013 at 03:26 PM
I believe that an established social media protocol led by an experienced and qualified individual would be a major asset in getting and keeping the average Waltham resident engaged with the community at-large. Clearly, our citizens care a lot about the city, and have some great ideas that could be brought to light easily via these forums.
Dan Murphy February 17, 2013 at 04:41 PM
I'm sure we have MANY city employees spending HOURS every day surfing the web and talking on thier cell phones. Why hire yet another employee that will garner good wages and an unbelieveable pension? Give the job to some city department and let them figure it out amongst themselves how to get it done.
Selectman Lisa Laughton February 17, 2013 at 07:17 PM
Waltham can not keep enough winter clean up equipment never mind a social media manager do not spend money on things you do not need. Spend money on the things they need not what you want it is all about needs versus wants here.
CP February 17, 2013 at 07:20 PM
I see no need for this with the reverse 911 in place and it does a great job. If there is $ in the budget, why not hire another cop or fill a vacant position already there?
Mitch Ballard February 18, 2013 at 06:35 AM
Thanks for sharing the post and for asking the opinion but I personally don't think that they should hire any social media manager.
Tina February 18, 2013 at 11:22 AM
Put that money toward improving Waltham's snow removal equipment. We NEED that more than we need a social media manager!
GrampaJoe February 18, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Is there that much going in this City where a cop or anyone else needs to be able to update information around the clock?
Tim Hill February 18, 2013 at 04:29 PM
Ryan, this is a tough question to answer. It really depends on what this person would be doing. What I am in favor of is someone from within the city that monitors a social media feed and seeks out the answers to the questions. The idea is that if someone is posting to social media, as opposed to email, it is likely that they are not the only person who needs the information. For example, if I posted "Where can I find a list of the companies contracted by the city for snow removal", the monitor could either reply with the answer if it is known, or seek out the answer from the right person. This would not be a terribly difficult job as long as the person(s) responsible are aware of who is responsible for what in the city.
Alice H February 18, 2013 at 05:12 PM
Waltham Police Department does a good job using social media, and I bet they don't have an employee fully dedicated to this function.

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