Posts tagged “social media

Our most popular blogs and podcasts of 2016

mostpopular

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

gorilla-blog1When 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 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.

ruiz-podcastWhile 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!


14316755_10108798313965164_2904942172107966680_nAbout 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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How social media can help students value local government

Copyright: 2nix / 123RF Stock Photo

By Sara Schmachtenberger, Public Communications Intern

Since it’s a presidential election year, most of us are focused on national politics and the fascinating nature of the race for the White House. Local government isn’t nearly as captivating, so it’s easy to underestimate the impact it has on our daily lives.

College students are typically preoccupied with rigorous course loads and one or more student organizations. Considering that many of us only live here long enough to get our degrees, it’s understandable if we pay little attention to the local government.

With our busy schedules, what do we have to gain by keeping up with what’s going on in College Station?

Quite a bit, as it turns out.

When I started an internship in the city’s Public Communications Office this spring, I took the time to explore the city’s website. I was surprised to discover how much I didn’t know that I probably should.

For example, many students are unaware of the city’s “no more than four” ordinance, which means no more than four unrelated people are allowed to live in a single housekeeping unit. Obviously, that’s something students should know as they arrange for off-campus housing.

Since most students live on tight budgets, costly fines for code violations are more than minor annoyances. These violations are easily avoidable if you know about basic city ordinances.

Fortunately, social media has made it simple to stay informed. Since most college students are active on at least one social media platform, clicking “follow” or “like” makes staying in the loop easier than ever.

You may also discover that the City of College Station offers recreational and educational opportunities, as well as free concerts and other events. They have free classes on how to ace interviews and look professional on a budget, ballroom dancing lessons, pottery and stained glass art sessions, and other unique experiences you won’t find on campus.

You may even find a part-time job.

The city’s Facebook and Twitter accounts also provide timely traffic and weather alerts. The Police Department even uses social media to help identify and apprehend criminal suspects.

Thanks to the internet and social media, we have access to more information than ever before. The American Press Institute reports that an astounding 88 percent of millennials say they use Facebook as a news source.

College students can obviously benefit from knowing what’s happening in town even if we won’t live here for long. Through the city’s various social media pages, we can learn about changes that affect us, opportunities that benefit us, and information that keeps us safe.

City of College Station Social Media:


10407688_556394601163628_4469248091500421291_nAbout the Author

Sara Schmachtenberger is completing a spring internship in the Public Communications Office. A native of San Antonio, she is on track to graduate from Texas A&M in August with a bachelor’s degree in communication and a minor in business administration. 


 

Photo Credit: 2nix / 123RF Stock Photo

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


Our most popular blogs and podcasts of 2015

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

blogWhen 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 five years later, the city blog continues to be a powerful cornerstone of our public outreach strategy.

In our first six months of blogging, we averaged just over 800 views per month. In 2015, we averaged almost 6,000 views per month, more than a sevenfold increase. Since we began blogging in August 2010, we’ve posted 620 blogs, resulting in about 230,000 views and tens of thousands of shares through social media.

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Our most popular social media posts of 2015

tellmemoreBy Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Since The City of College Station joined the social media revolution in early 2009, sites such as Facebook and Twitter have become a mainstay in our efforts to effectively communicate information about our programs, services, events and activities.

In the early days, we had only a few hundred Facebook and Twitter followers. But despite the early naysayers, our social media presence has continued to grow. In 2015, the number of fans following our Facebook page increased by 55 percent to 11,400 and the number of our Twitter followers rose by 33 percent to 12,800.

KylefieldWe posted almost 800 tweets in 2015, resulting in nearly 2,800 retweets. The top tweet noted that the attendance at the Texas A&M-Mississippi State game was almost identical to our October population estimate. It had 621 retweets and 481 likes.

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College Station’s blog-ometer rolls past 50,000

In spite of my one semester as a computer science major at Texas A&M — that’s when I learned the term “scholastic probation” — I’m far from being a numbers guy.  But I do appreciate milestone numbers, like admiring my truck’s odometer when it hits 20,000, 21,112, 22,222, 23,456 … you get the idea.

Recently, I’ve noticed some milestone numbers as they relate to a few of the ways we communicate information about the City of College Station.  Examples:

  • Facebook likes: 4,800+
  • Twitter followers: 4,000+
  • YouTube views: 345,500+
  • City blog posts: 200
  • Total blog views: 50,000+

We employ means of communication other than social media tools, but because data is so readily available through these, I wanted to spend a little time focusing on one in particular: the College Station blog.

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