U.S. Coast Guard embraces social media

New blog and Facebook help accomplish its mission.

New blog and Facebook help accomplish its mission

The U.S Coast Guard has set sail into the social media world with a strategy that draws upon its core values. How is the journey so far? Officials report relatively smooth seas with just a bit of chop.

The Coast Guard launched its social media program about six months ago with support from senior leaders who understood one of the important truths about social media—even if you’re not in it, you’re in it.

“It’s not a choice of whether to be there. You’re there. It’s a choice of whether to engage and how you engage and how you manage your relationships with the folks that are out there,” explained Commander Ron LaBrec, the Coast Guard’s chief of public affairs, during a presentation at the recent Blogwell conference in Chicago. “Social media is one way that we are trying to work better and work smarter and to be more inclusive and more transparent.”

It’s doing that through commercial tools such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, which have allowed it to connect relatively quickly to a broad audience. Like every good journey, however, the Coast Guard’s foray into social media hasn’t been without its challenges.

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