Download Social Media Toolkits from

by | Feb 1, 2010 | Social Media Writing Courses, Writing Matters Blog | 1 comment

From the National Association of Government Communicators list, I’m reposting information about a great resource: three social media toolkits from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. (Thanks to Susan Parker, Director of for this info.)  The toolkits cover

  • blogging
  • Twitter
  • legal issues pertaining to social media

You can read the toolkits online or download the blogging and Twitter toolkits as PDFs. (The legal guidelines toolkit isn’t available as a PDF.)

Highlights from the toolkits

Legal Guidance Toolkit
I was thrilled when I read the opening sentence of the Legal Guidance Toolkit: “There are no legal prohibitions against state agencies using social media sites or having social media identities.” Such unequivocal language should help reduce the unreasonable fear of social media that prevents many government agencies from trying new ways of communicating with constituents. 

Blogging Toolkit

The blogging toolkit includes a Blog Preparation Checklist, which reminds agencies to answer these questions before they jump into blogging:  

  1. “Who is your audience?
  2. What business goals can your blog help you meet?
  3. What topics will you blog about?
  4. How will you administer your blog?
  5. What is your publication plan / schedule?
  6. What changes do you need to make to the template privacy, terms of use and social media policies? Have they been posted to your Secretariat or agency website?
  7. What changes do you need to make to the template comment policy?
  8. How will you publicize your blog?”

Twitter Toolkit

The Twitter toolkit includes a Twitter Best Practices list with plenty of practical advice. In particular, I like these three points for government Twitter-ers:

  • “Be transparent. Who exactly is blogging for your
    agency? Is it a person? Is it a department? Make sure people know how
    they can reach the party behind the tweets. It makes a big difference
    in the perceived authenticity of your efforts.”
  • “Be proactive. Make sure
    you promote your Twitter page. Include a link to your webpage on your
    Twitter account, and a link to your Twitter account from your webpage.
    Include it in your formal communications plans. Insert it into your
    email signatures.”
  • “Be realistic. Twitter isn’t
    quite as easy as it seems. You need to plan to devote time and
    resources to active engagement on Twitter. Additionally, building an
    audience may take longer than anticipated. Don’t let slower than hoped
    for results diminish your commitment.”

Susan Parker promised future toolkits that will cover YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, wikis, and survey tools.  If she posts more information, I’ll link to it here.

Does your organization have a social media toolkit or guidelines you could share? If so, please let me know or post a comment. Thanks.

— Leslie O’Flahavan

Tags: Government web writing, Social media, Twitter

1 Comment

  1. I try to do everything to avoid Twitter, but i fear it will catch up with me. Just don’t have the inclination to devote time to it.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Upcoming Events

Recent Posts

Writing Workbook