ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – The city of Athens is using social media to make sure citizens are in the know.
Holly Hollman is public information officer for the city of Athens. Hollman says, “Especially with the cold weather we`re going to have coming up, where it looks like we`ll be below freezing, we try to get information out to the public as quickly as possible.” She goes on to say, “The quickest way for us to do that is first to email all the media outlets. But another way is to post it on Facebook, twitter, and nixle alerts.”
That means instant access to important alerts. Hollman says if parents are on the go, and don’t have access to their television or newspaper, they will most likely have their cell phone. That way they can stay alert to road closings, power issues, or any other weather related issues.
The response has been exactly as the city had hoped.
Hollman says, “Citizens have loved it. We have over 3,000 followers on Facebook. And citizens love being able to just look at their phone and get the information as soon as we can get it out to them.”
In many cases, using social media avoids even bigger problems. Hollman says when the power goes out, the phone lines often get bogged down with people trying to call utilities. If they can go to Facebook and know the utility department already knows there’s an outage and have crews on the scene, they will be less likely to call.
If you want to stay connected with the city of Athens through social media, you can connect on Facebook through this link, or you can also search for City of Athens, Alabama (Public Relations) on Facebook. Connect with them on Twitter at @AthensAL.
You can also go to www.nixle.com to sign up for nixle alerts.