In February I found out I received approval for my social media news challenge project focusing on coastal restoration. I got to work immediately, attending three public meetings about the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority’s draft 2016 fiscal year coastal annual plan around the state of Louisiana.

I realized that in order to provide instantaneous news updates, live-tweeting the public meetings would give followers updates quickly and efficiently, while also allowing their concerns to be voiced. I encouraged followers to follow the live-tweets if unable to attend the meetings, and also voice their opinion on Twitter with the hashtag #coastalmasterplan.

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These posts reached more than 500 people. After looking at the engagement each post received, it reinforced that keeping posts short, preferably less than 250 characters, including a call-to-action, and including a photo are how to be successful on social media.

An email was also disseminated February 7 encouraging people to follow & participate in the live-tweet sessions.

An email was also disseminated February 7 encouraging people to follow & participate in the live-tweet sessions.

B9cdeAmCYAAUpO6On Monday, February 9, 2015, I traveled to New Orleans to live-tweet the first CPRA’s draft 2016 fiscal year coastal annual plan public meeting. I live-tweeted CPRA Executive Director Kyle Graham’s presentation of the plan, along with the public discussion. I curated the tweets along with relevant, timely news into this Storify.

On Wednesday, February 11, 2015, the CPRA Board meeting was held in the Louisiana State Capitol. After live-tweeting the meeting, I again pulled the tweets into a Storify. This meeting was important because the CPRA board approved two major Louisiana projects. This event showed up in several news outlets.

That same day I traveled to Houma for the last public meeting held to discuss the CPRA’s draft 2016 fiscal year coastal annual plan. One improvement I made with this meeting is I recorded the public’s comments and opinions, which I then included in the Storify along with timely, relevant news articles.

Each Storify serves as an archive of the happenings of each meeting, along with relevant news stories, tweets from other reporters in attendance, and comments from citizens in attendance.

To summarize these Storifys, I wrote a blog post about the meetings for followers to read if they missed any of the previous information. I summarized the coastal annual plan and gave note to issues and opinions raised in the meetings.

Providing live coverage of these meetings is important to the citizens of Louisiana because some people might not even know they had the opportunity to attend or voice their opinions.

Most recently, I attended LSU’s Coastal Sustainability Studio brown bag lecture on February 25, 2015, featuring Keith Bowers, landscape architect & restoration ecologist. I wrote a blog post about marsh restoration in New Orleans at the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve.

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Coming up:

HashtagNext Wednesday I am participating a live webinar that will teach me how to use hashtags to promote non-profit causes on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The webinar focuses on how to use hashtags for fundraising, advocacy, education, and events, how to research and monitor hashtags, and the best practices for creating hashtags. I plan on writing a blog post summarizing what I learned and how I will implement it in my social media news challenge project.

I also plan a Twitter and Facebook hashtag campaign with curation of the social media content about outdoor activities in Louisiana as well as upcoming news events, such as the anniversary of the 2010 BP oil spill.