Orange County’s New Technology and Social Media Workgroup to Advance Citizen Engagement and Support Digital Community


 

[Left to right] Nadia Vanderhoof, Carlos Carbonell, Ian Suarez, Josh Murdock, Necole Pynn, Laura Kern, Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Bess Auer, David Glass, Jen Vargas and Ann Marie Varga gathered to discuss Orange County’s Technology and Social Media Workgroup.

As advocates for the region’s burgeoning tech community, several online and social media influencers – who also played a significant role in amplifying the digital presence of Mayor Teresa Jacobs’ 2014 State of the County in June – will continue their role as innovators and collaborators in Orange County’s new Technology and Social Media Workgroup.   

 

“My goal is to keep the momentum going.  By getting to know our region’s online influencers, we hope to foster better communication within their ranks and with our citizens, as well as with people across the globe,” Mayor Jacobs said.  “Communication is so important and it is evident that we must break through the traditional media landscape to reach a broader demographic and our new generation of future community leaders through social media.”

To expand the online conversation and facilitate a dialogue with a broader demographic, Mayor Jacobs invited online influencers to be Social Media Ambassadors during the Mayor’s 2014 State of the County in June. The Ambassadors, who have large followings on social media networks, engaged citizens by sharing messages on social media to increase public engagement and awareness regarding Orange County’s “Year of Transformation.”  Google Glass was used to record and share live from the eyes of one of the Ambassadors, making the event the first State of the County address in Florida to feature Google Glass.

The initiative proved to be one of the most successful digital outreach initiatives in Orange County’s history.

From June 2 through 6, the campaign achieved nearly one million (956,387) total online impressions on Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orange County’s official Twitter and Facebook pages.

Two event specific Twitter hashtags, #YearofTransformation and #SOC2014, achieved local trending status during the 2014 State of the County on June 6 at the historic Ballroom on Church Street.

“Mayor Jacobs’ State of the County Social Media Ambassadors program definitely brought awareness to the region’s innovation that has propelled our community to the national stage as the new technology hub of the southeast,” said Carlos Carbonell, CEO of Echo Interaction Group and president of Orlando Tech Inc., a nonprofit organization supporting the Orlando technology community. “I look forward to Orange County’s new Technology and Social Media Workgroup which will further support our dynamic community.”

The Orange County Technology and Social Media Workgroup will operate as a think-tank to advance new technologies, social media and mobile applications supported and developed by Orange County Government. The workgroup will also collaborate on how to best enhance online public engagement and support the growing the technology and digital community in our region.  

“It is really impressive the way Mayor Jacobs and Orange County has brought together individuals from different sides of social media and the technology spectrum to work together,” said Ian Suarez, graphic designer and social media coordinator for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando. “It is important to increase public awareness on what the county is doing for our community in today’s tech savvy world. I am honored to be part of such a talented group of leaders in our community.”