Social media was the topic of a Massachusetts Municipal Councillors’ Association Zoom webinar on Sept. 17.

Derek Beckwith, a public relations and communications strategist, discussed the importance of using social media and shared best practices, such as keeping separate accounts for city, campaign and personal use.

He stressed the importance of adhering to the state’s open meeting and public records laws, and said councillors should download all posts before deleting them (in order to preserve them as records). Beckwith recommended that members of the same council not follow each other on social media, because doing so could lead to questions about whether town or city business is being deliberated outside of a public meeting.

Beckwith urged councillors to be active on at least one social media platform. He said it takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes per day to keep social media accounts updated. His Powerpoint presentation (linked below) includes a list of resources.

Social Media Strategy for the MMCA presentation (206K PDF)
MMA Policy Committee on Municipal and Regional Administration Best Practice Recommendation: Considering Social Media Policies in the Context of the Open Meeting and Public Records Laws (162K PDF)

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