Mayor's tweet account runs amuck - is social media the best way for her to communicate effectively?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Staff

January 30th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

WowWow!

The words were barely out of her mouth and then there they were – in the land of tweets.

These appeared in the Mayor’s tweet account during the Special City Council meeting that took place after her State of the City address earlier in the day.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward had her Media and Digital Communications Specialist gathering what the Mayor had to say and sending them out to her twitter followers – the volume ranked right up there with the president of the United States – and look where THAT got THEM.
Here is a portion of the content.

Land Use cover• For clarity, any policies that reference growth in the MTSA’s should also include reference to the overall MTSA typology which differentiates the characteristics between downtown and the GO station MTSA’s

Direct the Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility to consider the following modification to the proposed Official Plan Amendment:

Approve the proposed Zoning Bylaw Amendment as amended attached in Appendix E (https://burlingtonpublishing.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=38757
) to supplementary staff memo dated Jan. 30, 2020 to community planning report PL-01-20; and

Approve the proposed Official Plan Amendment as amended attached in Appendix D (https://burlingtonpublishing.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=38756
) to supplementary staff memo dated Jan. 30, 2020 to community planning report PL-01-20; and
3/8

Mayor with Civic bling

As the Mayor speaks her words are captured and sent out as short tweet bursts of data.

Receive the Interim Control Bylaw Land Use Study report prepared by Dillon Consulting as amended and attached as Appendix B (https://burlingtonpublishing.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=38753
) to supplementary staff memo dated Jan. 30, 2020 to community planning department report PL-01-20; and

The motion on the floor for vote follows:
Deem that no further notice is required in respect of the proposed Zoning Bylaw Amendment in accordance with Sect. 34 (17) of the Planning Act concerning a change to a proposed bylaw made after the holding of the public meeting; and 1/8

“… This is merely another step we are taking in this process and we have a lot of miles still to go.” 5/5

“… We saw from the consultant’s report our downtown bus terminal doesn’t function as an MTSA like our Burlington GO station & it won’t, no matter how many transit upgrades occur. This is a transit-friendly council & we will continue improving transportation in our downtown. 4/5

“… That’s our next step, and the consultant’s report positions us with solid planning rationale for these conversations with the Region and Province… 3/5
“… These policies will help us better manage growth in the downtown. There is also an outstanding staff direction to review the appropriateness of the downtown’s Major Transit Station Area & Urban Growth Centre designations at the end of the ICBL/OP review studies…. 2/5

Mayor Meed Ward comments: “This is a really historic moment and I want to thank staff, Council, all members of our community and the consultant. This is a significant milestone for the City in getting a community vision for our downtown & controlling overdevelopment… 1/5

Here is a link to a copy of the ICBL Land Use Study done by Dillon Consulting and revised January 2020: https://burlingtonpublishing.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ash

This is a classic example of what is wrong with the tweet world – no context,  just a collection of phrases thrown up into the air hoping they will land somewhere.

Responsible, public leadership meets with media regularly to answer not just questions but follow up questions and is available for clarification.  Burlington doesn’t have that level of municipal political leadership.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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3 comments to Mayor’s tweet account runs amuck – is social media the best way for her to communicate effectively?

  • Greg

    The use of Twitter as a primary communication tool is inappropriate and exclusionary.

    The Mayor’s communication strategy largely is one way and inequitable. I’m sure many of get constituents do not have access to Twitter. The strategy needs to change from running for federal politics to Mayor of Burlington.

  • Tom Muir

    And what about those of us that are not among the Mayor’s tweet followers? Or all the other social media, except email?

    This is a fractured messaging machine.

    I agree, as Pepper says, that the Mayor badly needs some public leadership that meets with media regularly to answer not just questions but follow up questions and is available for clarification.

    Accountable leadership needs more than one-way scripts vetted by staff.

    Mayor Meed Ward, please have a press conference/citizen Town Hall to fill this yawning gap.

  • Historic may well be the right word but not the same meaning as the Mayor envisaged.

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