Innovative cities in the modern era utilize social media as an integral communications device for all things community.
Much credit should go to the City of Peterborough, which has stepped up its social game on Twitter and Facebook in positive, engaging, playful ways—in doing so showcasing the people and amenities that make Peterborough a welcoming city, and all the hard work being done.
Exhibit A: During the winter storm recently, the City tweeted out a series of fun, educational videos that got lots of engagement showing us how the Public Works plowing crews (road and sidewalk) were tackling all that snow…
The key people on the City of Peterborough’s social media/communications activities are Sharron Hayton—the main person for corporate social media accounts—Sadie Norrad, Accessibility and Communication Specialist; and Brendan Wedley, Manager of Communication Services.
“We want to be informative and engaging on social media,” Wedley tells PTBOCanada. “It's not a new strategy, but I would say that we've been working to enhance how we communicate through our various communication channels. I think people will have noticed an increased use of videos, photos and graphics. We're using a more conversational tone when appropriate—but there are still some municipal topics where we need to be more formal or reserved.”
Recently the City had some fun with this Throwback Thursday showing past logos…
The City is currently working on building a much needed new website, which is slated to launch in the spring. Wedley says the development of that has inspired new possiblities with social media.
“The new design and voice that's being developed for our website is certainly influencing our communication through other methods, including our social media presence,” Wedley tells PTBOCanada. “Residents will find the new website to be easier to navigate, find information and access City services. Instead of being designed based on government, it's being designed based on the user or the resident. I think we see that same principle reflected in our tone on social media.”
With Twitter and Facebook amping up, the City now has an eye to activating an Instagram account to tell Peterborough’s story more visually. “We keep looking at Instagram, but we're not there yet,” Wedley tells PTBOCanada. “We know it's a fantastic platform and a positive space. We need to be able to generate more relevant, timely photo content before we can be in that space in a meaningful way.”
Indeed, the City’s thoughtful approach and tone to social media and building their new website is in keeping with how the community consumes content now in the modern era. “Social media is just one tool, but it's an important tool,” notes Wedley. “We want to engage with residents in a way that's convenient for them.”
Exciting news for the team here at PTBOCanada, as our Instagram channel highlighting great photos, video and stories of Peterborough & the Kawartha has reached 10,000 fans.
Thank you Peterborough & the Kawarthas and to all our fans from across the country and around the world! We are grateful!
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Contact our Brand Strategist Aaron Elliott at email@example.com to learn more about how we can get the word out about your local business.
Thanks to all those following us on our channels, and for reading and sharing our content. We wish you all the best in 2018!
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As part of our full-on embracing the social media age, we are excited to be now launching our 4th social media channel, PTBOCanada Snapchat (ptbo_canada). Snapchat social messaging app is an engaging way that millennials and beyond—it's a maturing medium—are using to share photos, videos and stories. As with our other social channels, our approach will be hyper-local— exploring our community in new, unique ways using this platform.
If you're on Snapchat, add us at ptbo_canada or use our Snapcode below...
The 2nd Annual Peterborough Pulse on Saturday (July 16th) was a vibrant, amazing day when a community came together for a car free day in the downtown corridor to celebrate everything that is unique about this city.
It was trending all day No. 1 locally on Twitter as people tweeted about the diversity of stuff to explore at this special day...
People walked, biked, danced and mingled on the open streets. As Laura Copeland tweeted, can this happen every Saturday?
Here's what else you shared about Peterborough Pulse on Twitter and Instagram...
Peterborough Pulse has quickly established itself as one of the community events in town, and we hope to see many more.
St. John Catholic Elementary School Principal Andy Sawada is doing a really neat experiment on Wednesday (May 4th), taking us inside the life of a principal—and school—by live tweeting his day.
Using the hashtag #dayinthelifeoftheprincipal, Sawada is giving his followers a fascinating window into his day.
"This idea came up last week when one of my friends asked me what I do during the day," Sawada tells PTBOCanada. "Many people have an idea of what the principal role is, but the principal role has changed immensely since you and I went to school. So, I thought of live tweeting my day, which can be a challenge, but I usually tweet out school happenings at the @StJohnPVNC handle. Additionally, I thought that this could be a transparent way of showing and sharing what my job entails."
Here are some of his tweets so far...
Peterborough has always been known as a city of innovation. It's in our DNA. The city now has the opportunity to emerge as one of the tech cities in Canada—or anywhere. Here are 15 reasons why...
1. Peterborough has always been ahead of the curve, from being the first city in Canada with electric street lighting (1884) to constructing the highest hydraulic lock in the world (1904)—see more examples here.
2. Peterborough has tremendous talent from Trent University and Fleming College to feed from—students (aka digital natives) from all over the world who were raised with mobile devices and apps as a part of their lives, and some of whom are now starting tech-based businesses.
3. Peterborough is known for being tech-savvy, an early adopter that engages with new tech, digital media and social media platforms. Ideas get incubated and shared here in the "creative economy" by global citizens (digital natives and digital immigrants) sharing on mobile in real-time. (Our media company began as a Twitter handle.)
4. The spirit of innovation, adapting and evolving has emerged from manufacturing giants in Peterborough like Quaker Oats, the old Outboard Marine, and of course GE (whose "Electric City” moniker comes from GE's long association with the city).
5. Peterborough organizations have really begun to embrace the collaborative approach to city-, community-, business-, tech-building, allowing for start-up ideas to be incubated and get off the ground sooner—and from right here in Peterborough rather than another city. Less red tape, more Let's Just Do This.
6. High schools and elementary schools are adding to their curriculum exciting new ways of exploring and using technology in the classroom setting to teach, adapting to the real tech world children are raised in and inspired by. Some school boards are creating hashtags to share their findings. These students, and their ideas, are the future of this city.
7. The city's history is rooted in creative people who experiment and push the envelope, from Sir Sandford Fleming (who lived here as a young engineer), to Erica Cherney, to Jim Balsillie (born and raised in Peterborough)—co-founder and former co-CEO of Research in Motion ("BlackBerry").
8. The likes of Peterborough Economic Development, Greater Peterborough Innovation Cluster, Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, Peterborough Angels, DBIA, City of Peterborough, Bears' Lair and Startup Peterborough are exploring (and rewarding) how technology, digital and innovation can develop our city in the modern era—and most importantly, retain young, bright, innovative minds.
9. Peterborough—long known as a hub for beta testing products and ideas, many of which eventually hit national and international markets—is emerging as one of the "start-up" communities in Canada, fostering and mentoring young entrepreneurs at a grassroots level, giving them autonomy to build, learn, make mistakes, grow.
10. Peterborough is realizing the value of experimentation and testing out ideas on social media platforms and elsewhere to explore possibilities and kickstart businesses that could change the city—and world. The "Why the hell not?" attitude has caught on.
11. Technology could be a game changer for Peterborough, and young entrepreneurs see that. In fact, the most powerful testimonials come from startups themselves: "This city is becoming a fast adapter of technology," startup Ribbet co-founder Sana Virji tells PTBOCanada. "With numerous startups growing in the region, we know Peterborough is the place to be."
12. If you look around you and see how people are consuming and sharing information, it's on mobile devices, iPads and laptops. It's not so much newspapers, magazines, phone and TV sets anymore. The world has changed. Gen Z, millennials, Gen Xers and, more and more, Baby Boomers, are staring at their iPhones screens because that's where they are reading, watching video, sharing info and fostering ideas. Leisure, play and work are there now. It's a new, exciting world.
13. From seasoned local digital companies like OutdoorSmart (the successful company behind BoatSmart!) to start-ups like Noble Purification, the future of Peterborough is emerging as much on technology and startups as manufacturing and other traditional industries (which they themselves are re-thinking approaches in the modern era).
14. Hubs, think tanks, digital networking, pods, incubators, clusters, re-thinking work spaces are all being re-imagined in Peterborough, as "traditional" work—and its office notion of "9 to 5" in a cubicle—undergoes a transformative era. Nowadays, you can build a company from your dining room table. Or the café. Or wherever.
15. Look at it this way, too: The more Peterborough becomes known as a tech city surrounded by beautiful water, restaurants, stores and people—with all the amenities of urban and rural—the more we'll see talented people drawn to study here, intern here, start up businesses here, be hired by tech companies here in need, and stay here. And raise families here.
Basically, all the ingredients and momentum are here to create an amazing tech ecosystem that becomes the talk of the town—and Canada. Hashtag that.