KINGMAN – With widespread growth of Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, Mohave County needs to come up with a new policy covering what’s posted on social media and who’s in charge of posting, Supervisor Buster Johnson said Monday.
The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to direct County Manager Mike Hendrix to work with Information Technology and other county departments to formulate a countywide policy that would be used for any official county representation on social media.
Johnson said he wants to make sure the county doesn’t get into legal trouble with Facebook posts by staff. He knows how important it is for various county departments to get the word out on road closures and health issues, but he also realized there was no policy on what should or should not be posted on official county social media pages.
“We’ve all done things we got in trouble for and I think we’ve come to the point where we do need to set a policy,” Supervisor Hildy Angius added.
Angius said her item later in Monday’s agenda to combine the positions of economic development director and public information officer would rectify the problem.
The county needs to have one central source where people can go for the latest information, she said. For example, during the Willow Fire, Emergency Management was posting information on one site, Public Works on another and she was getting calls from constituents.
“We’re a big county. We have a lot of information that people need to know,” Angius said.
Hendrix said it’s important for various departments to get information out to the public such as road closures by Public Works and notifications from the Health Department. It would be difficult for one person to disseminate all that information, he said.
Nathan McDaniel, director of Information Technology, said it’s a “complex task” to have just one Facebook page with 15 departments. That’s why the county’s website has a section for followers on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The community library in Lake Havasu City has its own page for promoting activities and events, and that’s how the need for individual Facebook and Twitter accounts evolved, he noted.
“There’s specific things for the outlet of information. I think there’s a possibility for each department to have an individual platform and there is a policy for each social media platform,” McDaniel said.
Mohave County’s official website puts out press releases with a code that “dynamically echoes” the news to the Twitter account, he said.