Resources & Research

Social Media

Social media is now mainstream. Rather than using one-way communication, social media creates the opportunity for instantaneous two-way dialogue. This provides endless opportunities for communities to market themselves and engage their public in ways never before imagined. Research suggests that the effective use of messaging and technology is instrumental in succeeding in the 21st century.

Social media also creates complexities and potential liabilities for municipal government, with regard to Open Meetings Act, Freedom of Information Act and the responsibilities and limitations of public employers.


Social Media Pitfalls & Upsides for Communities, by Matt Bach, Director of Communications, Michigan Municipal League, and Jim Thorburn, Detective/Social Media Director, Allen Park Police Department, PowerPoint presentation at 2018 Michigan Municipal League Convention

The Legalities of Social Media, by Steve Mann, The Review magazine, January/February 2018.

Text Message Scandals:  Tips to Avoid Them, by Matt Dreese, The Review magazine, September/October 2017.

Social Media:  The Good, the Bad, and the Legalities, by Steven Mann, PowerPoint presentation at 2017 Michigan Municipal League Convention

Sample Social Media Policies

Battle Creek (HRC) pop. 52,347; social media policy includes Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and links.

Berkley (HRC) pop. 14,970; social media policy

Birmingham (HRC) pop. 20,103; social media policy

Dearborn (HRC) pop. 98,153:

Hudsonville (HRC) pop. 7,116; social media policy

Lake Isabella (HRV) pop. 1,681; social media and website policy detailing employee conduct, conduct for Facebook page visitors, and guidelines for responding to reader comments.
Madison Heights (HRC) pop. 29,694; social media policy

Novi (HRC) pop. 55,224; policy on technology use and electronic records retention that applies to social media use.

Troy (HRC) pop. 80,980; social media policy

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