MENOMONIE, Wis. -- It is important for Dunn County officials to stay connected to their constituents, so the county has launched a new video series and expanded its social media presence to provide important information in ways that people are becoming more comfortable with.
“Social media is where a lot of people now go for their information,” said Krista Vind, the county’s web support specialist who is leading this new information effort. “People go to social media sites to find out about events, services, facts and just about everything. That’s why we decided to expand our social media efforts.”
Starting late last year, Vind and her colleagues began the “Learning About County Government Video Series,” which is hosted on the county’s web site, as well as the county’s You Tube channel. The first of two videos tell constituents how they can get involved in county government, and the second describes how the Register of Deeds office handles vital records.
“We take the need for transparency very seriously in Dunn County,” said Kris Korpela, county manager. “As the media industry continues to shift, we knew we had to find additional ways to communicate important information to county residents and use all the platforms at our disposal.”
Part of this communications effort is posting links to County Board committee and full board meetings that have been recorded on the meeting platform, Zoom.
“In case somebody can't attend in person, we do Zoom for every meeting,” Vind said. “So, if committee members cannot attend a meeting in person, they have the option to attend virtually, and county residents can then watch the meeting as well.”
All meetings are posted to You Tube 24 to 48 hours after the meeting.
Finally, the county makes extensive use of its Facebook and other social media platforms to inform constituents about upcoming events, office closures, voting information, and other services that residents need to know about.
“We want to keep educating the public because sometimes it seems there isn’t a lot of transparency in government” Vind said. “Our goal is to be more transparent and really inform people about what programs and services we offer.”
Snow plowing attracts a lot of attention in winters like we just had, Vind said. In February, the county posted information on its Facebook page concerning the amount of time it takes the county to plow for each snow event.
“People really appreciated that kind of information,” Vind said, adding it explains to people “why don’t they see a snowplow out.”
Vind said the county uses a collaborative process to decide what videos to do and to work on the script, filming the video and editing the final product.
“I meet with the department head who I am working with on the video, and we discuss the best information to provide,” she said. “We want to provide accurate information that is important for people to know.”
A script is developed and either the department head or Vind records the narration. Then pertinent video is shot, and both are edited into a finished product, adding graphics and/or music. Vind said she tries to hold the videos to five minutes or less but will exceed that if the amount of information calls for it.
“Some videos will be longer to provide all the needed information,” Vind added.
This effort to use videos and social medial to promote transparency will continue to evolve, Vind said, adding, “I love doing those videos. I love getting that information out."
The Learning About County Government Video Series can be found here.
The county’s Facebook page can be found here.