City of Soldotna adds a new position, creates first social media policy

  • By by Victoria Petersen
  • Friday, June 15, 2018 1:48pm
  • NewsSoldotna

This spring, the city of Soldotna created a new special project and communications coordinator position. Jhasmine Lamb, who has filled the position, is working with the city to create a Soldotna’s first social media policy.

“We tried to pull and focus responsibilities that had been shared by many people in the city,” Soldotna City Manager Stephanie Queen said. “We had various people doing these things and we wanted one position to focus on that.”

Many cities in Alaska implement social media policies. Queen said that the Soldotna policy will offer employees guidelines for speaking on behalf of the city, how to conduct themselves and the type of updates to share with the public. The policy also ensures that the city is complying with state and local laws.

“Those laws are familiar when you know how to conduct a letter or an email, but they also apply to social media,” Queen said. “It presents a new challenge and we need to update our tools in order to be able to retain those comments made, whether a comment on Instagram or a comment on Facebook. Those could become public records.”

Lamb and Queen are working with the city clerk to find software packages specifically designed to retain public records on social media.

The policy will include training for employees and departments on how to best use their social media accounts. While Lamb said she will have her hands on other city department social media accounts, it will be the departments themselves communicating their own messages.

“It’s better to do more work up front and make sure everyone has the right tools to ensure these communications can happen quickly and not get stuck in an approval process that really wouldn’t work,” Queen said.

Right now, the city is assessing what social media accounts are live and worth maintaining. They plan to continue utilizing their Facebook and Instagram accounts, but an idle Pinterest account and a Twitter that hasn’t been updated since July of 2016 are likely to be deactivated.

“We’re being selective on what’s the most relevant demographic for Soldotna. I think — I don’t own a twitter account — it’s not relevant,” Lamb said. Queen said that while social media is useful, it will never replace the city’s more traditional forms of communication, such as their website and in-person public meetings.

The policy was drafted earlier this month and will be entering phase two next week. Once the policy is complete it will be posted on the city’s social media accounts for the public to see.

More in News

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Statewide COVID cases continue drop

On Monday, Alaska’s seven-day case rate per 100,000 people was 268.6.

Anne Zink, Alaska chief medical officer, participates in a briefing with Department of Health and Social Services officials to discuss the rise of the omicron variant of the corona virus, on Nov. 29, 2021. (screenshot)
Omicron ‘an animal of its own’

State health officials emphasize unknowns, prevention measures in wake of new coronavirus variant spread.

The Kenai Community Library health section is seen on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. The Kenai City Council voted during its Oct. 20 meeting to postpone the legislation approving grant funds after members of the community raised concerns about what books would be purchased with the money, as well as the agency awarding the grant. The council will reconsider the legislation on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai council to consider library grant again

The council earlier voted to postpone the legislation after concerns were raised about what books would be purchased.

Rep. Chris Kurka, R-Wasilla, leaves the chambers of the Alaska House of Representatives on Friday, March 19, 2021, after an hour of delays concerning the wording on his mask. On Monday, Kurka announced he was running for governor in 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Wasilla rep announces gubernatorial bid

Kurka said he was motivated to run by a sense of betrayal from Dunleavy.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Elderberry carried the Together Tree, bound for the Alaska Governor’s Mansion, up from Wrangell where it was harvested after a brief delay due to some mechanical issues. (USCG photo / Petty Officer 2nd Class Lexie Preston)
Governor’s mansion tree arrives in Juneau

No weather or floating lines could stay these Coast Guardsmen about their task.

Forever Dance students practice for the “Forever Christmas” annual holiday variety show at Kenai Central High School on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Remembering that we’re all in this together’

Forever Dance celebrates the holiday spirit with Christmas showcase.

Image via the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
Nikiski soil treatment facility moves ahead

The facility, located at 52520 Kenai Spur Highway, has drawn ire from community residents.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID case rate continues decline; 7 new deaths reported

The state reported 632 new COVID-19 cases in Alaska.

People sit on a float by Kendall Auto Group during the “Christmas Comes to Kenai” parade on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘It’s our biggest so far’

The holiday spirit is back in a big way with ‘Christmas Comes to Kenai’

Most Read