Apr 23 2013

5 Cities Using Pinterest to Engage Citizens

The visual social-networking site is gaining popularity in government.

The success of retail outlets and e-commerce sites on Pinterest is well documented, but is there a place for governments on the visual social-networking site?

As some governments are finding out, the answer is a resounding yes. Pinterest, while not designed explicitly for location-based social networks, is surprisingly well suited for delivering an engaging experience to readers who are looking for information about city, county or state government.

We’ve identified a few local governments that have launched Pinterest pages to communicate with citizens.

Overland Park, Kan.

Pinterest is a great place to advertise your city to tourists, and while Overland Park is doing that on its “Things to do and see” board, the city also caters to its citizens by featuring event photos, historical snapshots, and an album depicting local firefighters during training.

Boulder, Colo.

When your city is surrounded by the beautiful Rocky Mountains, leveraging a visual medium like Pinterest is a no-brainer. The city has several boards dedicated to the picturesque town and surrounding landscapes and participates in the community board Colorado Photo Share, where anyone can submit favorite images taken in Colorado.

Berkley, Mich.

For small towns operating with increasingly smaller budgets, social networking offers a free way to communicate with citizens by using a platform they are already familiar with. Check out images of classic cars from the Berkley Cruisefest, and learn more about the city’s parks.

Azusa, Calif.

“The Canyon City” takes a different approach to Pinterest, creating a Pinterest account solely for the city’s library system. This is a perfect way to promote services like the Azusa Library Bookmobile, digital content and even a little library humor. The library system team has already pinned more than 316 items . . . meaning the city’s residents now have 316 more resources available on the web at no charge.

Regina, Saskatchewan

This is really an impressive use of social networking. The city of Regina has a board that showcases the city’s new services and another that highlights facilities operated by the local government. This kind of information has been made available by other local governments for years, but never in an exciting or engaging way. Regina is changing that by including photos along with the expected information, such as facility locations and hours of operation. One great advantage of using Pinterest to deliver this data is that residents can add relevant city information to their own boards.

Is your city, county or state using Pinterest? Let us know in the Comments section.


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