Using Social Media for Regional Economic Development

Part of the mission of my digital public relations firm and VT KnowledgeWorks member company, Handshake Media, Incorporated, is to use my company's expertise and resources to contribute to regional economic development initiatives, particularly in relation to the technology industry.  I have a vision of every regional business blogging and of a regional social media initiative.

I found Social Media Best Practices for Economic Develpment, by Mark Schaefer, author of the blog {grow}, pertinent, thought-provoking, and vision-expanding.


  1. Glad I could help, Anne. This is such a fascinating topic. So much opportunity, yet many EDO's remain clueless, based on my research.

  2. I wonder if we need a prequel slide show: Best Practices for Introducing Economic Development Offices to Social Media Best Practices for Economic Development. Then no one is clueless and we're all the same page – maybe even on the same Facebook page!

    On Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 11:03 AM, wrote:

  3. Very comprehensive. Effective presentation. Thanks.
    Florida's book on The Creative Class suggests developers may be measuring the wrong things. After this presentation I wonder who needs plans, goals, and/or strategies … the development office or the community (area) to be developed. Economic development can destroy social networks, build others. Being precise can build trust later. Nailing down the area of concern (and for measurements) to reduce statistical or measurement variance and to develop social cohesion may be a first difficult task.

  4. Mark Schaefer has mentioned Richard Florida to me in other correspondence and Stuart Mease used Florida's model to start a Creative Connectors program in Roanoke, VA. Schaefer pointed to this link in a Twitter update, "Measuring Influence":

    The ideas are complex but I think they relate to Robert Giles's point about "Nailing down the area of concern."
    How will we know when we've "economically developed"? Will we have achieved finanicial goals, traffic/audience/reach/influence goals?

    I want to participate in the regional economic development of my beloved home, but before I commit my heart, mind, time, and treasure, I need to be sure what my part is in the greater plan of what we're all doing and why.

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