PORT of Portland hasn’t put out a press release in years.
So how is it telling the wider community just what is going on? Enter social media, with applications like Facebook and Twitter helping keep locals (mostly) not only informed but engaged.
Port chief executive Jim Cooper addressed the Port Outlook session in Williamstown, Melbourne, recently an event organised by the Victorian Transport Association.
Mr Cooper said the use of social media had helped keep the community onside with controversial projects such as the forced demolition of the “Corkscrew” (an old viewing platform at the end of the breakwater that had deteriorated).
He said part of the trick was employing a social media manager who knew the town.
“The trick for me was identifying a person in the township and who knew the town and what its pressure points were,” he said.
“And this person was knowledgeable about the town first and a user of social media later. And I’ve actually engaged that person for the last three years and it’s been success after success.”
He noted the executive team recently did public relations training.
“We reflected that we haven’t done a press release for about three years. We deliver all our news out through social media and each month our number of connected people rises.”
Mr Cooper said country towns like Portland were interconnected and towns tends to communicate through social media.
The Port now has just fewer than 3000 Facebook followers and also communicates on other social media networks.