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Kristy Dalton

Contributing Writer

Kristy Dalton is known as "GovGirl" in the government technology industry. She has been called on as an industry influencer and has a passion for social media, technology and digital strategy. Kristy is the founder & CEO of Government Social Media.

December 1, 2019

Three Ways to Make Government Social Media Accessible to All

Removing barriers for people with disabilities of all kinds to access your agency's social media channels is not only the right thing to do, but it also ensures you maximize the reach of your messages.

October 1, 2019

What Could Happen If Governments Restrict Social Followers?

Instagram's new comment restriction tool may be helpful for some users, but it presents challenges for public-sector agencies who must uphold standards like citizens’ First Amendment rights.

July 1, 2019

GovGirl: Specific Messaging Is Key to Relevant Social Media

Social media isn’t valuable to an audience if communications are too broad. Governments should work to understand what different kinds of information constituents might want and target their messaging accordingly.

June 1, 2019

Why Should Your Jurisdiction Have a Facebook Group?

Public-sector social media professionals are using Facebook’s Groups feature to generate increased reach and organic conversation that’s not always achievable on the platform with a simple government page.

April 1, 2019

GovGirl: Government Social Media Work Has Come a Long Way

In the years since public agencies first went social, the way they operate online has made strides, from mid-2000s YouTube experiments to fully fledged social media programs that drive citizen engagement.

March 1, 2019

Why a Social Media Strategy Is Key to Emergency Management

Regardless of government agency, from department of transportation to public works, having a plan in place for reaching constituents in a crisis situation is essential to effective communication and mitigation.

December 1, 2018

Common Social Media Mistakes New Politicians Should Avoid

Following November’s midterm elections, many newcomers will be taking up positions in state and local government. Here are two missteps politicians should avoid to ensure effective connection with constituents.

October 1, 2018

The Unseen Consequences of Hiding Social Comments

Hiding unwanted comments on a social media platform can have negative ramifications.

August 27, 2018

Finding the Funny in Government

Humor can be a useful tool for generating social media engagement in the public sector.

July 1, 2018

Selling Your Boss on Social

Why leaders often don't listen, and how to make sure they do.

June 1, 2018

Looping in Leadership

Getting agency heads on board with social media can ensure your efforts don't go unnoticed.

April 2, 2018

Tweets from the Top

Best practices for getting elected officials engaged in social media efforts.

March 1, 2018

Is Government Blogging Dead?

Exploring an underused outlet for engagement.

January 8, 2018

The Case for the Social Media Coordinator

It's 2018. When are you finally going to create that full-time social media position?

January 1, 2018

GovGirl: Using Instagram Stories Effectively in Government

Creating content that only lasts for 24 hours may seem like a waste of time for government, but Instagram Stories is an increasingly popular platform that can add a new channel for reaching constituents.

December 1, 2017

Social Media Analytics 101

It’s not enough to just have social media — government must understand how to make the most of it.

October 1, 2017

Social Media's Problem-Solving Power

Social media coordinators often aren't who government leaders turn to in times of need, but they can use their skills to help solve non-social problems.

September 1, 2017

Should Your Agency Do Social Media Training?

Why governments aren't doing it — and why they should.

June 27, 2017

3 Methods for Meeting Government Social Media Goals

The social media platform you use to manage your content calendar is important, but having a solid strategy behind it and making a commitment to update it are equally critical.

June 1, 2017

4 Ways HR (and Other Departments) Can Use Social Media

It’s not always obvious how an internal department can benefit from social media.

March 29, 2017

How to Manage the 3 Types of Negative Comments on Social Media

All negative comments are not created equal, and how you deal with them says a lot about your agency.

March 6, 2017

From Social to Smart: Connected Communities Are Plugging in to Innovation

While it’s cool to offer cutting-edge connected technologies, the ultimate goal is to make communities safer and more energy efficient, to improve service delivery, and so on.

January 11, 2017

Why Most Government Social Media Policies Suck

Your agency isn’t just implementing a social media policy to legally cover your butt — it is important that employees and citizens actually understand it.

December 16, 2016

GovGirl: Talking Like Government in Real Life

So many government agencies are still using "government speak" on social media and wondering why citizens aren't engaging with them.

December 13, 2016

Can Snapchat Help Government Engage a Younger Audience?

The consensus among agencies that have a profile on Snapchat is that it can be used both as a unique story-telling platform, as well as an interesting way to get engagement at events.

October 14, 2016

3 Ways to Make Social Media in Government a Team Effort

Here are some tips to get all staff members involved in your agency’s social media efforts.

August 28, 2016

3 Major Concerns About Facebook Comments — and How to Address Them

Are you still nervous about Facebook comments? Here's how to address the top concerns faced by localities.

July 21, 2016

10 Signs Your Disaster Recovery Strategy Needs Updating

If any of these signs sound familiar to you, you need help fast!

June 28, 2016

Recruiting Government Workers on LinkedIn

How to make government jobs stand out on LinkedIn.

May 23, 2016

Lighten Up: It’s OK to Have a Little Fun on Social Media

Social media messages don’t always need to sound like they come from government.

March 4, 2016

How to Coordinate Social Media Outreach Efforts Across Your Agency

Just one state agency may have 30 separate social accounts. What's the best way to manage them?

January 18, 2016

3 Ways to Take Advantage of Your Social Media Downtime

Social media is never actually “done,” but here are some things to work on when the rest of the process seems to be running smoothly.

December 8, 2015

State of Social Media: What’s Changed in 2015?

As the year comes to a close, it’s helpful to reflect on how government social media has changed and what to expect in 2016.

October 12, 2015

Zombie-Proof Your Data Center

When you’re talking about keeping data safe, you have to plan for any emergency situation, like hurricane, fire or zombie outbreak.

October 2, 2015

Social Media Analytics: The Importance of Conversion, Participation Rates

When you’re looking at measuring the effectiveness of your agency’s approach to social media, try to focus on data that helps you understand whether your efforts influenced action.

September 3, 2015

Advice from Future Self at Accela Engage

Local government officials answer the question, if you could go back in time, what one piece of advice would you tell yourself about using technology in your current job?

September 1, 2015

Online Input, Real-World Impact

Governments can get valuable citizen feedback from social media, but there are keys to being successful.

July 10, 2015

4 Ways to Constantly Come Up with Social Media Content

When posting to social media networks, odds are good that at some point, you will run out of ideas. Here are a few content-generation techniques to try.

June 16, 2015

Gaining Social Media Buy-In for Government

Use the social traffic gained from a major weather event to gather data on engagement and reach of your social posts -- and report this data back to management.

April 10, 2015

3 Essentials of Sustainable Social Media

How to support a maintainable government social media program.

March 27, 2015

Humanizing Government Social Media

One tip: Having a sense of humor and being fun on social media can be an effective strategy for growing your audience.

March 6, 2015

Who’s in Charge of Social Media?

How social duties have evolved since government got on board.

January 6, 2015

4 Common Mistakes in Government Social Media Policies

These best practices are commonly overlooked in the development of government social media policies.

November 26, 2014

Neighborhoods Are Social Networks Too

Why the Nextdoor hyper-local social network is exciting for public agencies.

October 24, 2014

Staying the Course with Facebook

Despite big changes, don’t jump ship with your agency’s Facebook page.

October 10, 2014

How Cities Can REALLY Use Nextdoor Social Network

How can police, fire and public information officers could use the platform? Watch the video to find out!

July 28, 2014

3 Social Media Tools for Cops

Nearly 96 percent of law enforcement agencies use social media, according to a survey, and these three tools can help officers best utilize the platforms.

June 23, 2014

City Responds to Negative Tweets with Humor

Not many people can seriously clarify why a city’s drinking water “tastes like cat poop,” but College Station, Texas' Jay Socol does it with style.

July 24, 2013

Be a Guest on GovGirl

GovGirl has hosted several guests over the last couple of years, from govies to industry folks to her peers -- now it's your turn!

July 17, 2013

Facebook for Government in 60 Seconds

The Facebook platform has changed constantly since it was launched, and in this amazingly quick video, GovGirl covers how to set up a page for your agency.

July 10, 2013

Create Webpages for Services You Don't Offer!

People sometimes have no idea what agency offers the services they need, and there's no reason not to be helpful.

June 26, 2013

New Website

The new site features responsive design, better search functions and social media integration throughout.

June 19, 2013

Instagram App for Government

Many agencies are already using platforms like Facebook and Twitter and they’re looking for other tools to reach citizens. Have you wondered how Instagram can fit in to your social strategy?

June 12, 2013

How to Make a Podcast, with Mark Fletcher

Podcast pro Mark "Fletch" Fletcher shares his expertise on how to get and keep an audience for your agency's audio content.

June 10, 2013

Leaving a Legacy in the Public Sector

If you’ve done it right, the projects, systems -- even culture you’ve helped create – will benefit your government and citizens for a long time to come.

June 5, 2013

4 New Ways to Use Public Libraries

Many public libraries have struggled to stay modern and relevant in today's world, so this GovGirl video is a tribute to those who have done so.

May 22, 2013

What Your Kids Do On Facebook

May 15, 2013

Can Government Songify Video?

May 13, 2013

No. 1 Thing to Get Right in Transparent Government

May 8, 2013

Why GovGirl Does What She Does

There's a sizable disconnect between the material the public sees and the passion and energy that government staff has in what they do -- and GovGirl aims to bridge that gap.

May 1, 2013

Dancing at NASCIO & Random Questions with Cathilea

GovGirl hangs out at the NASCIO midyear meeting in Washington, D.C., and gets some CIOs to bust a move!

April 24, 2013 Redesign & Dancing with Aunt GovGirl

GovGirl -- and her niece and nephews -- share the ins and outs of the new redesign.

April 23, 2013

Accela's Big Announcement for Government -- Civic Cloud & Civic Hero

GovGirl chats with Accela's CEO and discusses the company's new business model, citizen reporting app and new tagline.

April 17, 2013

#OneBoston, Hackathons & Cat Ears

In this week's video, GovGirl discusses the Boston Marathon tragedy and its promoted hashtag.

April 10, 2013

Austin's Google Fiber, Infographics & Trending Topics

In this week's video, GovGirl talks Google Fiber, and takes a stab at her own infographic.

April 3, 2013

#Hackergov and Trending Topics

In this week's video, GovGirl talks hashtags and their prevalence, and how Longmont, Colo., is promoting its first hackathon.

March 27, 2013

New YouTube Channel Design

In this week's GovGirl video, get a quick video tutorial on upgrading your channel design on YouTube.

March 27, 2013

Digital Counties Survey with Bill Schrier

Formerly the CTO of Seattle, Bill has had a long career in government, and currently serves as the Deputy Director of the Center for Digital Government.

March 20, 2013

Digital Counties Survey and Trending Topics with Bill Schrier

In this week's GovGirl video, Schrier spoke about various popular annual awards programs that are opening soon and his recently-announced successor to the CTO post in Seattle.

March 13, 2013

New Pinterest Analytics and Trending Topics

GovGirl shares how to look at your agency's most popular pins on Pinterest and the launch of New York's open data portal.

March 11, 2013

Seattle PD's Funny Tweet and Trending Topics

This week's trending topic video from GovGirl starts off showing government with a sense of humor.

March 6, 2013

Seattle PD's Funny Tweet and Trending Topics

This week's trending topic video from GovGirl starts off showing government with a sense of humor.

February 27, 2013

City Wins Tech Center and Trending Topics

If you’re like most public-sector employees, you don’t have much time for watching videos. So “GovGirl’s Trending Topics” quickly covers top stories in government innovation.

February 20, 2013

First Step in Website Redesign: Collecting Data

Collecting data sounds boring, but it can give you a lot of helpful information about your existing website that will make your redesign more meaningful.

February 13, 2013

New Website Review: City of Los Angeles

As a former city government Web manager, GovGirl was eager to see the city's new site, and she put together this quick video review.

February 6, 2013

Does the Vine App Have a Place in Government?

If you had to communicate in 6-second increments, there's no room for boring! A video encouraging business license renewal online, for instance, would get right to the point.

January 30, 2013

Shoot Video With Your Smartphone

GovGirl talks with Government Technology's "Video Dude" about easily shooting decent quality videos to upload to your YouTube channel and share on social media.

January 23, 2013

Baby Boomer Blogger Breaks Government Stereotypes

Mark Funkhouser of the Governing Institute shares with GovGirl some thoughts on his blog, "Bring on the Funk."

January 16, 2013

3 Ways to Use LinkedIn for Government

GovGirl shares how to use LinkedIn to strengthen your brand, share updates, and for social recruiting.

January 9, 2013

See Your Potential Facebook Reach

GovGirl shares a simple trick for finding you city's potential reach on Facebook in just a few easy steps.

January 7, 2013

Government Email Outreach Secrets

GovGirl connects with Jennifer Kaplan from GovDelivery (a GovGirl sponsor) in a Google Hangout to learn the secrets of maximizing e-blasts.

January 2, 2013

Prepare a Zombie Survival Kit

GovGirl takes a look at what should be in every citizen's disaster survival kit.

December 19, 2012

Facebook Branding for Government

In GovGirl's new series on Facebook strategies, this video discusses setting up a great foundation for your page.

December 12, 2012

GovGirl Answers Your Questions

GovGirl takes a look at some of the feedback and questions sent in by readers.

December 5, 2012

YouTube Tips for Government

GovGirl explores how to optimize your YouTube channel.

November 28, 2012

Social Media Field Guide Author Interview

GovGirl takes a look at two government superstars who teamed up on a book to help public agencies effectively use social media.

November 15, 2012

GovGirl Covers re:Public

At this event in Tucson, Ariz., GovGirl rubs elbows with some of the most innovative leaders in state and local government.

November 7, 2012

Mobile App or Mobile Site?

This GovGirl video explores the pros and cons of each, and covers the best practice of "Responsive Design."

October 31, 2012

How to Host a CityCamp

GovGirl explores what makes these 'unconference' style events such a hit.

October 25, 2012

What's Hot, According to Top State Tech Leaders

GovGirl chats with CIOs at the 2012 NASCIO Annual Conference in San Diego.

October 18, 2012

How to Host a Twitter Town Hall

GovGirl shows how to take your traditional public meeting up a notch using social media.

October 10, 2012

Must-See Social Media Advice for Government

GovGirl talks with Nicole Sunstrum, the social media specialist for

October 4, 2012

Are Digital States Graduating with Honors, or in Detention?

GovGirl gives you a cheat sheet for the longest-running examination of technology use in state government.

September 26, 2012

GovGirl: Can Government Do Viral Video?

Kristy Fifelski chats with local government officials who are defying the idea that government communication must be stiff and boring.

September 13, 2012

GovGirl joins e.Republic

We're going to expand and continue GovGirl and keep posting videos showing the fun side of government.

July 9, 2012

A Politician's Guide to Social Media

These tips simply show you some basic ideas - there are so many additional ways to take it further and optimize your social media presence.

March 7, 2012

Government Innovation YouTube Channels

Videos posted on these channels are helpful for both government employees and citizens!

December 28, 2011

Top 5 GovGirl Videos of 2011

Videos posted on these channels are helpful for both government employees and citizens!

December 9, 2011

Accessibility Requirements for Government Websites - Proposed Rules Round 2

Remember back in late 2010 when the United States Federal Government (U.S. Access Board in particular) asked the web community for input about proposed rules on website accessibility?

November 5, 2011

Hack4Reno Part 3

This is the second video describing the process leading up to the Hack4Reno.

October 14, 2011

Hosting a City Hackathon Part 2

This is the second video describing the process leading up to the Hack4Reno.

October 5, 2011

Hosting a City Hackathon

The Hack4Reno civic hackathon event will be held in downtown Reno on Oct. 15-16.

September 21, 2011

Donate old cell phones to government programs

What can you do with all those old cell phones? Donate them to government programs that go to good causes.

September 3, 2011

Prepare for government web emergency

What can you do with all those old cell phones? Donate them to government programs that go to good causes.

September 1, 2011

Selling ads on government websites

GovGirl gets a new look.

August 12, 2011

'Searchify' Government Websites

Sounds like a Harry Potter spell, but the trend is to 'Searchify' government websites.

July 5, 2011

What's your favorite laptop for conferences?

What's your favorite conference laptop?

June 1, 2011

New website takes risks

What do you think of their bold new focus on 'Search'?

May 16, 2011

Interviewing everyday people on the Digital Divide

I chatted with a few people on the streets on Cincinnati, Ohio, a couple of days ago.

April 28, 2011

Digital Divide Sucks Part 1

There are some people who still don't have regular access to computers and the internet.

March 18, 2011

8 Ways Government Can Connect With Citizens

Doing these 8 things would make citizens seriously take a step back and re-think their government.

March 9, 2011

GovGirl's Favorite WordPress Plugins

Learn about Akismet, Flexible Lightbox, Sociable, Google Sitemap Generator, Register Plus, WPtouch and User Photo.

March 4, 2011

Government Fun on Facebook

This video shares stories about communities that have connected with citizens by having a sense of humor on social media.

February 28, 2011

10 toolbar extensions for government

Check out 10 cool toolbar extensions for government!

February 24, 2011

Web Author Handbook Template for Government

Maintaining a consistent government website is tough when you have multiple authors.

April 29, 2010

Key to government website success starts with analyzing web data

How can we decide where we want to go if we don’t know where we’re at?

April 1, 2010

April Fool's from Google

Google shows some humor with an April Fools joke.

March 20, 2010

It took Google to prove that social media works (now local governments are committed)

So what did it take for local government to see proof that social media works?

March 19, 2010

Reno's YouTube video for Google's fiber internet

I just have to share this!

March 12, 2010

Even inventor of www is talking about open data

I'm thinking he knows what he's talking about (in case you don't know, he invented the world wide web).

March 10, 2010

'Open data' websites rock

San Francisco, NYC, DC, and the newest one announced last week is Seattle - all are opening city datasets to the public.

March 8, 2010

City of Reno launches mobile website and requests input

The New Look Of Interactive Government

March 6, 2010

My slides for Nevada Interact presentation

The New Look Of Interactive Government

March 5, 2010

Preparing to talk about citizen involvement at a role of government workshop

19% of internet users say they use Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves, or to see updates about others.

March 2, 2010

What does the Open Government Directive mean for local government?

Federal government web administrators certainly have job security these days.

February 26, 2010

19% of internet users use a status-update service

19% of internet users say they use Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves, or to see updates about others.

February 25, 2010

Check out "The New Look of Interactive Government"

My session explores concepts such as government involvement with mobile and iPhone applications, widgets, sharing data, social networks, live chat and online town halls.

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