Governments Get On Board with Pinterest

Social media platform offers agencies a new means of citizen engagement.

As the Pinterest social media platform enjoys explosive growth, the public sector has taken note. The online pinboard affords state and local governments yet another opportunity to interact with citizens.

The state of Utah, for example, has long offered an award-winning website. Several agencies have created Pinterest boards with visually appealing content. For example, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources features images of birds and animals, the Utah Travel Council shares photographs of the state’s tremendous landscapes, and Park City entices tourists with photos of skiing, hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing and other outdoor activities.

Maryland found an innovative way to support local businesses by staging a contest on Pinterest. A report from the Center for Digital Government notes:

In March, Maryland launched a Pinterest Business Pitch Contest to showcase its small-business startups and encourage entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs entered the contest by creating a Pinterest page and pitching their business ideas using 10 photos. The competition netted about 60 submissions, including an eight-year-old who makes and sells duct tape wallets and Johns Hopkins University researcher with a maternal health business.

Pinterest has proved useful for public safety, too. The Pottstown, Penn., police department receives more tips and calls about people wanted for outstanding warrants, thanks to the photos posted on a pinboard created by a reporter at The Mercury, a local newspaper.

For more suggestions about how state and local governments can use Pinterest, consult Mike Bernard’s blog entry on GovLoop.

<p>Image courtesy of digitalart / <a href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net" target="_blank">FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>

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Jan 14 2013