Category Archives: City of Atlanta

APS Embraces Social Media. Finally.

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I’ve been watching everything the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) social media person has been doing with their social media outreach via their Twitter/blog/Facebook over the last few critical weeks.

I even met the APS social media person at the governor’s press conference to announce the results of the state’s investigation the other day. We set-up media shop next to each other, coincidentally. 

And WOW what an amazing transformation their social media game has undergone! Just in the last two weeks alone.

Suddenly, they are very responsive to the world around them. To their community here in Atlanta. They’re even dabbling in transparency and straight-up honesty too.

The live Tweets from @APSUpdate during a public forum with the new super Davis last week were very candid. And full of helpful and useful information.

What a difference a criminal investigation can make, eh? But the thing about social media, as any serious practitioner can tell you, social media is a garden; it only produces when meticulously tended.

Let’s watch and see. And participate, cultivate, in this transformation too.


Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed Carpe Diem-ing

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Mayor Reed is savvy like a media fox. He sees nothing anywhere he turns right now, in Atlanta AND Georgia, but a massive leadership vacuum. So why not make hay while the sun shines? By applying leadership in all the right places.

This is called thinking of one’s *bright political future.* All Mayor Reed needs to do is find him a Michelle and a Rahm-like wingman. And then watch him fly outta this red clay political nowhere land.

From Peach Pundit:

Kasim Reed has clout. In a state where no one wants to see the public schools of the capitol city fail, he will be allowed to spend it liberally. The Atlanta Public School Board didn’t just receive a warning from SACS, they received it from the Mayor. Given the power that he has behind him, they best not mistake his threat as more Kabuki theater.

Atlanta TV News Snowcoverage 2011

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Never one to be left behind when it comes to self-promotion, WSB-TV goes for a high school yearbook approach. (See pic.) Oh please don’t let them slap that on a billboard!

I had to drag my friend/neighbor Jenna away from the TV news Snowpocalypse coverage so we could take the kids to our neighborhood Willy’s for tacos last night. I really needed to get out of the house, but I needed a Willy’s margarita even more. But I know it’s hard to tear yourself away even for cocktails, as local news has been some of the most compelling TV going this snowbound week of non-stop coverage.

There’s my fave, Mark Winne, who’s been pulled-off the crime beat to go chat-up DeKalb County snow plow drivers now stuck in drifts alongside the road. Drink when Winne blurts *crime doesn’t take a day off* because he will inevitably say that, for your entertainment purposes.

And there’s top shelf material, WSB-TV’s Richard Belcher, finally catching-up with someone possessing half-a-brain from GDOT (Georgia Department of Transportation). If anything needs a top-to-bottom media overhaul it’d be GDOT, eh?

Then there’s Hullinger over at WXIA chasing GDOT’s Vance Smith all the way down to the Gold Dome basement. Snort! And Wizbee’s (what industry insiders call WSB-TV) pol-gal Lori Geary talking poll results from pollster Matt Towery about who out there stuck inside (with a land line) thinks GDOT is doing a heck of a job, Brownie. (Only the old folk, of course).

Local TV news in Atlanta during this wild winter storm of January ’11 is a wacky ride of knowledgeable, experienced reporting combined with can’t-go-wrong images that even an ancient, union cameraman can halfheartedly point and shoot in a general direction and still get great snow-covered video.

Like the Catholic Church’s ad campaign to get folk back despite a pedophilia problem, now’s the time to come home to local TV news. It may not get this good until the next big *snow event*…. what Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed calls this icy mess we hope will melt away by King Day.

How To Make The Media Your Bitch

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Did you hear the uncontrollable sobbing? See the river of tears? Cringe a lot but keep watching and listening? Feel those familiar, empathizing stabs-through-the-heart as a parent? Sure you did. Who could miss the bizarre, loud, soggy and sloppy vehicular homicide perp-‘fession yesterday in Atlanta media. It played big.

Now I will confess. I am in shock and awe with defense attorney’s, Lawyer David Wolfe’s, sick and brilliant and kinda wild media tactic. Trust me, ALL local Georgia media are now his personal media bitch, even the usually crime-reserved WABE. Watch him as he trots out the hysterically earnest nice white folk with the cute white folk names… such as Christa. What media could resist? And why would they? Gonna print big. Sell some papers. Tune-in. Click-on.

And the terrible thing is that all this Get To Know Me And My Deep Regrets tactical media ploy by Wolfe could keep this remorseful, hysterical-on-cue, stupid young woman out of the pokey… in what will now become a trial of the year, if it ever gets to trial. (NOTE: One atty. says the D.A.’s office will never plea down here.  Too high-profile for that.)

This one plays close to home as I just spent four months downtown at the Georgia State Capitol during the 2010 legislative  session, where earnest young folk such as the victim in this terrible accident (not crime), Jordan Griner, made the whole silly place hum.

Jordan Griners were everywhere. Young Griner was very much the face of the next generation of Georgia political operatives. Far too young to yet be turned manipulative and hard and unfriendly and cunning by the relentless power drama at the Gold Dome. And far too young to die, at just 24, on a Midtown street two blocks from the safe confines of home after a fun and casual night out with friends.

On an almost daily basis I too drive through the intersection where Jordan Griner was killed by the stupid drunk club-goer, thinking of young Jordan but also thinking of how I too was once a young, stupid, Atlanta night-clubber. In other words, ye olde classic There But By The Grace Of The Goddess scenario.

Now that I’m older, wiser, less energetic, and presumably more analytical, particularly with media matters, I really want to have a nice long chat with Lawyer David Wolfe about his media mechanizations for his stupid, drunk, club-going client; I’m fascinated by Wolfe’s mad legal-media skills and tactics. He waves his client-wand, and wow, all Atlanta media step and fetch to do his get-this-on-cam-for-your-A-block bidding… all without spending one dime or lifting a finger. Just a phone call or email or two or a dozen.

Naturally, I want to hear all about his overall media strategy too, which of course he’s not going to reveal to me or any other media-type or reporter. (Dale Russell may get an interview after all is said and done. Maybe.)

So until I get motivated enough to find a trial lawyer in my social network to interview, please leave me YOUR thoughts on this public, Georgia-specific, legal-media matter here. Especially if you’re a lawyer.

photo courtesy WXIA

Less Snakes, More Interactive Whiteboards In Atlanta Public Schools

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Help E. Rivers Elementary have less snakes and more interactive whiteboards! These whiteboards are terrific teaching tools. I’ve had the chance to see how kids react to them and use them in several APS schools, and they really are remarkable.

Teachers love using ’em too. More info about the white board tools are at the link… and how you could help the PTA at E. Rivers in their fundraising drive to get more boards into all E. Rivers Elementary classrooms. Every little bit of donation helps.

And yeah, who wouldn’t want to own a company (Promethean World) where PTAs and school systems everywhere were clamoring to raise money to buy your product? They’re that good.

Watch a video about the interactive whiteboards here.

Flooding in Atlanta: One Search To Bind Them All

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Charlotte, NC communications blogger, Andria Krewson, took time out to notice the way we Atlantans used Twitter as a crisis communications tool in the flooding situation yesterday. And how a trending topic on Twitter is quickly spammed by jerks too, making Twitter a dubious crisis communications tool – at the trending phase at least.

Just as the TV news stations will have “EVEN MORE” coverage throughout the day,  online communications gurus will continue to use Twitter throughout this ongoing natural disaster in Georgia.

Here’s Krewson’s (@underaok on Twitter) post in full:

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Flooding in Atlanta: One Search To Bind Them All

About 6 a.m. Monday, Steve Burns, a freelance journalist near Atlanta, sent out a note on Twitter:

“WSB: Boil water advisory in Douglas County. #atlfloods”

An hour later, Atlanta blogger Grayson Hurst Daughters tweeted from her @spaceyg account:

“Atlanta commuters: use the hashtag #atlflood for Atlanta flood condition notices.”

She followed up quickly with a note to a local TV outlet:

“@11AliveNews, please consider using the hashtag #atlflood in your Tweets! That way all the notices can be indexed/RSS’d. Tx!”

The tag set the tone for an organized, findable stream of aggregated content that helped Atlantans and their friends stay informed as the rain kept falling, killing at least 6 people, swamping interstates and causing major delays at the airport. The Georgia governor declared a state of emergency in 17 counties.

We’ve all read posts about how Twitter provides immediate coverage of earthquakes or bloody election fallout. But this moment showed how a social media tool enabled aggregation of all local news coverage through one search, quickly, in a large city, for breaking news.

Individuals shared links to stories from the established local news outlets quickly throughout the day. And a picture on Twitpic of flooding on Atlanta’s downtown connector received more than 60,000 views in about 10 hours.

Considering it a victory for untrained “citizen journalism” might be a bit misleading. Burns has newspaper experience from California, Georgia and Florida, and Daughters is a writer and corporate communication professional who worked for ABC News for six years. Also heavily involved was Tessa Horehled, a strategic marketer who advises companies about social media plans. Tweeting at @driveafastercar, she braved the rain with a video camera numerous times throughout the day from her neighborhood, and posted pictures late into the evening as a creek approached her front door.

Read the rest of this entry

Add Kyle Keyser To WSB-TV Sept. 13 Debate Lineup!

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Kyle megaphone

Ooops! I know they mean well at WSB-TV/Channel 2, but sometimes they’re just not able to keep up with all the latest developments happening in their own political backyard via social media. Neither can old-school kinda orgs like the Atlanta Police Foundation (APF).

Bless their hearts! It’s tough out here for the way-it-was-ers, isn’t it?

Seems APF and Channel 2 forgot to invite Atlanta mayoral candidate Kyle Keyser to the Atlanta Police Foundation’s mayoral candidate debate on September 13 at 6:30pm on Channel 2. Silly media!

You can find all the other debate details here though:
http://atlanta.daybooknetwork.com/story/2009/09/09/242682009-wsbtv-mayoral-debate913.shtml

This is very funny because Kyle Keyser (@keyserformayor on Twitter) almost singlehandedly forced the issue of rampant crime in the City of Atlanta to the top of the media heap through his 10K + member org, Atlantans Together Against Crime, or ATAC:
http://atlantanstogether.org/

And the Atlanta Police Foundation/Channel 2 Sept. 13 debate is… a debate focused solely on public safety issues.

Contact Atlanta Police Foundation and ask that Kyle Keyser be included in the Sept. 13th mayoral reindeer games at:

(404) 586-0404

aashe@atlantapolicefoundation.org

Thanks!
Grayson Daughters
SpaceyG on Twitter
http://twitter.com/SpaceyG

Kyle Keyser For Mayor:
http://www.kylekeyserformayor.org/