MAGC 2019

4 Takeaways from MAGC 2019

A couple weeks ago, I got to attend the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators fall conference. Here are four things I learned from the experience:

Humor pays off

The first panel of the conference was all about having fun with public sector social media accounts. Paul Hoppe of the Wyoming Police Department shared how their agency went viral using funny tweets. In his presentation, he described humor as a tool to help their account gain followers, with the ultimate goal being to share information with as many people as possible in critical situations.

Bring it back to strategy 

I think this idea of humor as a tool is really useful, because it grounds popular social media formats (funny phone videos, memes, etc) in actual communications strategy. Social media trends change so fast, and it’s easy to get caught up trying out one thing or another without a clear purpose behind your posts. Janet Swiechichowski summed this up perfectly at a presentation later in the day when she asked, How many of you feel like you’ve got pretty good instincts, but you’re flying by the seat of your pants? The whole room stood up.   

Goals first, tactics second

Janet brought up the need to create goals before deciding your tactics (i.e. what to post on Twitter). Do you want people to be aware of an issue? Change their attitude about something? Take an action? At CTV, we want people to feel more engaged and aware about their community after watching our videos, and we want them to share the videos with their friends and family. Humor is a tactic to get our audience to stop scrolling and engage with our videos. For example, I recently posted a funny video of John walking around the office in costume to promote several  Halloween productions from around our cities. 

Fun is Good 

At the end of the day, have a strategy, and have fun with it. Saints owner & keynote speaker Michael Veeck talked about the #FunisGood strategy the Saints use–which is exactly what it sounds like. While not all of use can stage the largest twister game in our Baseball stadium, we can share what we love about what we do. At CTV, our behind the scenes posts are often some of our most popular, because we are having fun!