In the world of Government 2.0 social media, Nguyen is leading the pact. And the Public Communications Manager for the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is doing it 140 characters at a time.
Nguyen (@TedNguyen) has built a network of 26,732 followers on Twitter, providing public information about Orange County transportation and spurring engagement from the public he serves.
“It’s all about public involvement and public engagement,” Nguyen said. “This is providing opportunities to communicate with me and it’s a great opportunity for me to solicit ideas and suggestions.”
And the entourage continues to grow, by as much as 70 new followers each day. Nguyen is on the cutting edge of the Government 2.0 wave.
The No. 1 goal of the OCTA’s Twitter page is public engagement. Nguyen’s voice on Twitter is to build a more sociable, responsive platform to communicate with the public.
“They see me as an authentic, real individual, rather than a logo,” Nguyen said. “There is a further cementing of the relationship.
“Beyond that is to provide an authentic voice and face of being people who not only say they care, but truly do care about public engagement.”Nguyen was awarded the state’s top prize for “California’s best social media program of 2009” from the California Association of Public Information Officers. His program also won the three communications awards from the Public Relations Society of America.
The platform allows the OCTA to communicate on programs, new projects and other pertinent information to the residents of Orange County. It also allows the OCTA to receive feedback on all of those categories.
It’s all about efficiency and responsiveness. Nguyen can quickly and easily send off 15 messages a day to an audience of thousands. He also said he returns every single tweet directed to him or regarding transportation in Orange County.
“This is driven by public involvement, and rightfully so,” Nguyen said. “As a public agency, it is about the public. We always need to be mindful of cost-effective ways to serve the public.”
James Spencer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org