City of Gatineau


Corporate goals:    

The 2009-2014 Strategic plan states four strategic directions.  In the context of social media efforts, I will focus on the strategic direction that is the most closely related to the use of social media:  “participatory governance and responsible management which include continuing to be a performing organization focused on service excellence and rigorous financial management.”



The City’s assessment of its accomplishments and plans is summarized in the annual report.

The last available annual report states that the principal communications accomplishment was the new focus on Web 2.0 and that the focus of 2012 would be (the development of a communications policy and) the continuous pursuit of a performing  service culture.


The City has expanded its Social Media potential by adding a fair amount of video content on its website.  This material is often referred to in Twitter and Facebook postings.   According to a study released last October, the City of Gatineau was leading the way among 50 Quebec municipalities with the largest Facebook community notwithstanding other municipal accounts (police, business development, library). Gatineau also stood out for its mobile enabled website, its SMS alerts and its handling of conversations with the public.


Early February observations showed that the municipal library and business development corporation were the most active on Facebook but did not generate as much engagement (Likes, shared, comments) as the police and corporate accounts.  Interestingly, this also holds true on Twitter:  the police and corporate accounts have a much higher ratio of followers per number of tweets.  This tends to show that engagement results, at least at this early stage, depend more on the topic than on the promotional efforts.  In a word:  public safety and snow removal trump economic development and culture.


What do you think, classmates?

Should municipal leaders spend time and resources getting ahead of the social media curve ?   Should they focus their efforts on areas taxpayers care about?