After a month of crazy, frenetic planning, our work with the City and County of Honolulu has finally born some fruit.  As of yesterday (although not without some brief technical hiccups), the infographic designed by Rob here at Bertholf Consulting was posted on the front page of the City and County website!

Our infographic Integrated into the City's website! If you can't tell, that is our logo on the bottom right hand corner of the picture.

The entire development process took about a month and began innocently enough.  Rob teaches a three hour class at the University of Hawaii on a variety of topics (WordPress, Social Networking, Search Engine Optimization,  you can go here: http://www.outreach.hawaii.edu/pnm/programs/PNMWorkshopListings.a if you’re interested in finding out more, or taking a class.)  It was during one of these classes that he was fortunate enough to meet Gail Haraguchi, Director of Customer Service for the City and County of Honolulu.  He must have done something right, because immediately after the completion of the class, Gail invited him to join the City and County’s team working to develop a social media strategy for the upcoming APEC forum meetings here in Hawaii.

Our initial sessions were based on some simple social media foundations.  Who was our target audience?  And how would we best reach them? To this end we came up with 4 categorical classifications: Community Lifestyle, Public Interests, Public Impact and the Visitor Industry.  We felt that any relevant APEC information would fit into one of these 4 channels.  Next we determined that there would likely be two sources of information,one from official channels (like the JIC or the MAC) and one from the community at large (through twitter, facebook, blog updates etc.)  The problem then became, how would we filter the information so that the people who were consuming it would not be inundated with incorrect, inaccurate, or overly voluminous data?

To resolve this problem, we decided to reach out to people that we termed “assets”, individuals identified as deeply invested in both social media (through Twitter, Facebook etc.) and in at least one of the specific categories we’d named previously.  It would be up to these individuals to filter all the information coming in, and disseminate only what was both useful and accurate.  We felt that each of these individual assets had enough clout within social media circles that we could be confident that any information they pushed out would reach just about everyone who wanted to see it.  Was this a huge undertaking in a short amount of time? Absolutely.  But we thought we could get it done.

The graph below is how we initially visualized the information filtration process would work.

Original Concept

Then, others were brought in.  Doug Chin, the managing director of the city, Forest Frizzell, the deputy director of the DIT (Department of Information Technology), and Kainani Kraut, the deputy director of DTS (Department of Transportation Services).  And, after a few more discussions, we decided to take a more streamlined approach with our strategy.  Rather than bring in outside assets to filter the information, we felt it more prudent to leverage the existing mechanisms already in place.  Thus, the four category plan was scrapped and remodeled.  Instead of focusing our efforts broadly on 4 categories with individual assets, we intended to narrow down our focus considerably.

This meant instead of starting something essentially from scratch, we could simply take advantage of the City and County’s pre-existing resources.  That meant focusing our campaign on the 4 twitter accounts owned by the City and County for City Information, Traffic, Trash, and Emergency Management (@hnl_info, @hnldts, @hnl_env, and @hnl_dem respectively.)  It also meant no longer needing to utilize and bring in outside assets to help control the flow of information.  All we had to do now was get each of the different departments on board with our plan.

After briefing the various directors’ on our intention, we needed to figure out a way to present the plan to the public at large.  Enter the infographic, pictured directly below, which Rob developed as a way to present all the information needed in a complete, concise way.

Final APEC Infographic

This was the end result of our collaboration.  After a few final tweaks, it was adopted and integrated into the front page of the City and County’s website on 11/1/2011.

Thank You Tweet from Forest to Rob

Overall this process was a great experience for us.  Not only did we get to meet, and work with, an amazing group of people, but also got to do work that benefited the community at large.

Miscellaneous Links:

KITV Morning News:

http://www.kitv.com/video/29685092/detail.html (Our Infographic appears first at 1:35 with Doug Chin as he talks about where to go for information during APEC. Great job Doug!)

City and County Website:

http://www.honolulu.gov/government/ (Our Infographic is displayed on the right-hand side of the site, under APEC Information.  If you look very closely you can even see the Bertholf Consulting logo!)