By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager
When blogging became all the rage several years ago, it was common to see corporations and even state and federal government agencies jumping aboard.
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 seven 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 2017, we averaged about 8,000 views per month, a tenfold increase. Since we launched the blog in August 2010, we’ve published nearly 870 posts, resulting in more than 400,000 views and tens of thousands of shares through social media.
Our 120 new blog posts this year have attracted more than 98,000 views – about 26,000 more than the old record set in 2016. Our most-viewed blog of 2017 was a four-year-old post about how to report power outages. That post received 4,700 new views in 2017, giving it about 16,000 views since it originally appeared in 2013. The most popular original post was about whether the color orange is banned in College Station, which has attracted more than 3,300 views.
While blogging is rare for municipalities, you see even fewer cities delivering regular podcasts featuring local government leaders. Public Communications produced 10 podcasts in 2017 that received a total of about 5,000 plays.
The “Is This a Thing?” series featuring Economic Development Director Natalie Ruiz has proven to be especially popular with our podcast audience. The series explores the rumors and realities about new restaurants, stores, and other development coming to town. An episode in June was played a whopping 2,875 times, making it our most listened-to podcast ever.
Here are our most popular blogs and podcasts of the year:
Top Blogs of 2017
|1. 4,687 views||Your account number is key when reporting an outage|
|2. 3,326 views||Is the color orange really banned in College Station?|
|3. 2,567 views||10 ways to protect your pipes and irrigation in freezing weather|
|4. 1,894 views||Is This A Thing? What you don’t know about Jones Crossing|
|5. 1,792 views||TxDOT’s Harvey Mitchell-University Drive Interchange Project|
|6. 1,529 views||CSFD saves two dogs in apartment fire|
|7. 1,444 views||Live Blog: 2017 city election results|
|8. 1,310 views||Prepare for possible impacts of Hurricane Harvey|
|9. 1,186 views||Major changes underway at popular Lick Creek Park|
|10. 1,137 views||Is this a thing? What’s coming to CS|
Top Podcasts of 2017
|1. 2,875 plays||Is this a thing? What’s coming to CS, and what’s not|
|2. 336 plays||‘Hotel folklore’: How Embassy Suites built across from Texas A&M|
|3. 296 plays||The future of Bush/Wellborn and why your opinion matters|
|4. 263 plays||Is This A Thing? Dallis family announces Burger Mojo|
|5. 246 plays||Lance Jackson bids farewell to Lincoln Recreation Center|
|6. 189 plays||Bryan-College Station: That’s My Hometown|
|7. 179 plays||Heart of local aquatics moves on after 30 years|
|8. 174 plays||Is This A Thing? What you don’t know about Jones Crossing|
|9. 157 plays||Who says College Station has 109,857 residents? Jessica Bullock.|
|10. 99 plays||Couch on the roof, goat in the driveway: The World of Julie Caler|
Happy New Year!
About the Blogger
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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