Joining Media Cause, Launching DotGov for the Public Sphere
Media Cause DotGov Serves Public Sector, Civic Impact
For a long time, I couldn’t figure out why there was always rice scattered on the steps of Boston City Hall.
Riding the elevator next to a bride and groom on their way to the clerk’s office, I realized why. There’s more to City Hall than parking tickets, and in my years serving as the city’s first director of digital engagement strategy – in charge of policy, content strategy, engagement, training and analytics – it was moments like discovering a City Hall wedding that inspired me to open up local government to the public. That meant shining a light on the stories of government at work – like the “Married in Boston” Tumblr featuring couples wed on the sixth floor.
It also meant creating digital inroads for public engagement, from the everyday to the exceptional.
Building a culture of digital engagement helped us learn more about each other by:
- Hosting online town meetings to unravel complex zoning code updates
- Harnessing the power of online communities to identify potholes and storm damage
- Staying informed and connected during emergencies, and supporting each other through recovery
- Using digital engagement & storytelling tools to aid a historic mayoral transition, and shaping and sharing the voices of city leadership.
By the end of my tenure, the City of Boston social community grew to 1.5 million across channels, doubled from the previous year, and my overnight suitcase was featured on the Weather Channel during a blizzard. Early on, when there were just a few of us making the case for government social media, the question we answered the most was “why.” Today, communities rightfully expect digital engagement, and the new question is “how.”
When the opportunity arose to join Media Cause to help a new slate of civic-minded organizations create positive impact through digital strategy, it was an irresistible prospect. I’m excited to help expand the agency’s excellent work to accelerate social good for even more clients improving our world, specifically in partnering to build and execute impactful digital strategies for the public and civic sectors.
I’m Lindsay, Director of DotGov at Media Cause
My career spans the newsroom, the roller rink, the Mayor’s office and the nonprofit sector. As a public radio producer and news reporter, I scoured the world for stories, and dug into my own as cofounder of a roller derby league, later using digital strategy to support the city’s last rink – where I got to know city workers embedded in neighborhoods. I imagined what it might be like to do my kind of work for a city – a job that didn’t exist yet.
But eventually, it did: I had the pleasure of serving as Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s campaign Digital Director, and following that, founded the city’s social media team. I love helping my clients think differently about how they communicate to leverage impact, whether developing animated PSAs or digging deep into a data set for meaning; to impact policy, to take a pulse, or to tell a story. I think all this work is fun, even when it gets serious. You can read more about my interests in and out of the office in my bio.
TechRepublic was kind enough to spend some time getting to know me – you can read that here, and more.
My colleagues and friends would probably tell you I’m tenacious in my take on the world around me. That’s why I’m so thrilled to join Media Cause, where the team shares this approach in their work, full of passion, joy, and most importantly, helping great organizations wage measurable social impact through smart, creative, integrated campaigns. My work ahead will open the door for more civic/public organizations to join us.
The most important step is to start by listening; I’d love to hear from you about what makes you excited when you think about the road ahead for digital strategy intersecting with the public square, as well as what challenges you. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let’s start the conversation.
Main Image: Lindsay Crudele and Mayor Walsh answering live questions on Facebook. Source: City of Boston’s Mayor’s Office.