By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager
But you didn’t see many local governments taking part – and you still don’t.
The reason the City of College Station decided to start blogging in 2010 was simple. It was an effective way to better tell our story. More than five years later, the city blog continues to be a powerful cornerstone of our public outreach strategy.
In our first year of blogging, we averaged just over 800 views per month. In 2016, we averaged about 6,000 views per month, more than a sevenfold increase. Since we launched the blog in August 2010, we’ve published nearly 750 posts, resulting in about 325,000 views and tens of thousands of shares through social media.
Our 122 new blog posts this year attracted about 72,000 views – matching 2015 as our best year to date. Our most-read post of the year was a carryover blog about how to report power outages. That post received 4,600 news views in 2016, giving it 11,400 views since its original posting in 2013. The most popular new post was about how the state’s open carry law would be applied in College Station, which attracted about 2,000 views.
While blogging is rare for municipalities, you see even fewer cities delivering regular podcasts featuring local government leaders. Public Communications continued its efforts in 2016 with 16 podcasts that received more than 3,030 plays.
The most popular podcasts of 2016 featured Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz and were about the rumor and the reality about new restaurants, stores and other development coming to town. Natalie’s two episodes were played nearly 1,000 times.
Our all-time leading podcast remains our very first from 2013, a song about Bryan-College Station that was recorded in the early 1960s. It has had 1,241 plays and 46 downloads since it debuted.
Here are our most popular blogs and podcasts of the year:
Top Blogs of 2016
|1. 4,597 views||Your account number is key when reporting an outage|
|2. 1,950 views||Can you openly carry a handgun in College Station?|
|3. 1,304 views||Is this a thing? What’s coming to town, and what’s not (episode 1)|
|4. 1,160 views||Is College Station now THE twin city?|
|5. 1,100 views||Why gorilla art is permissible but rooftop beds aren’t|
|6. 1,032 views||Moving out? Consider the options for your unwanted stuff|
|7. 971 views||Christmas in the Park: An event like no other|
|8. 913 views||Live Blog: 2016 city election results|
|9. 823 views||Is this a thing? What’s coming to College Station, what’s not (episode 2)|
|10. 802 views||10 ways to protect your pipes and irrigation system in freezing weather|
Top Podcasts of 2016
|1. 644 plays||Is this a thing? What’s coming to town, and what’s not (episode 1)|
|2. 339 plays||Is this a thing? What’s coming to town, and what’s not (episode 2)|
|3. 296 plays||Our first look at single-stream recycling numbers|
|4. 205 plays||CSFD’s swift-water rescue you might have missed|
|5. 165 plays||World of Hurt: Retiring fire chief looks back at 35-year career|
|6. 151 plays||How Ed Spillane re-ignited a national dialogue on indigency and courts|
|7. 130 plays||Chuck Gilman: College Station’s deputy city manager|
|8. 126 plays||Jeff Kersten: College Station’s budget man|
|9. 118 plays||Jeff Capps: Former top cop ‘blessed’ in new career|
|10. 112 plays||So, you want to be a city council member…|
Happy New Year!
About the Author
Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010. He previously served 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also been a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.
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