Category Archives: Blog

Pre-Conference Workshop for Intro to Government Social Media

We’re announcing our first pre-conference workshop, “Introduction to Government Social Media”. This 3-hour session will be held on Monday, April 23, 2018 from 2-5 p.m., prior to the official kick-off of GSMCON2018.

We often hear that there should be an introductory training session for social media professionals who are either 1) new to government or 2) familiar with government but new to managing social media.

Workshop Topics Covered

  • What government social media managers should know about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Nextdoor (including government-specific TOS and features)
  • Overview of government-focused social media issues, including public records, FOIA, Freedom of Speech and more.
  • Quick primer on government social media policy.

Speaker(s) for this workshop are to be announced.

The workshop fee is $75 and may be purchased along with your GSMCON attendee ticket. During registration, select the Workshop Add-on during checkout. Registration is now open!

GSMCON2018 Early-Bird Registration Opens Oct. 2

We’re excited to announce early-bird registration for GSMCON2018 will open on Monday, October 2, 2017!  We will accept credit card or invoice payment via check (Last day to pay by invoice: March 20, 2018).

Update 10-02-17: Registration is now open!

Early-Bird Registration | Oct. 2, 2017 – Dec. 15, 2017
(Basic Ticket $675, GSMO Members $575)

Regular Registration | Dec. 16, 2017 – March 30, 2018
(Basic Ticket $775, GSMO Members $675)

Last-Minute Registration |  March 31, 2018 – until sold out
(Basic Ticket $875, GSMO Members $775)

GSMO Members
Save $100 on GSMCON2018 by becoming a member of the Government Social Media Organization. Go to to become a GSMO member. You will be emailed a discount code when GSMCON2018 registration opens.

Golden Post Award Winners

Social media managers in government were honored  during the Golden Post Award ceremony on April 12 at the Dallas Sheraton during the Government Social Media Conference & Expo.

The award committee reviewed over 125 entries to select finalists in  6 categories. The committee also named a Top Social Media Advocate in Government, which was not open for entry.

New this year, Facebook partnered with GSMCON to name their own “Facebook Favorite” award as a part of the Golden Post program.

View winning entries here!

Finalists announced for 2017 Golden Post Awards

We are pleased to announce the finalists for the 2017 Golden Post Awards!

The award committee reviewed over 125 entries to select finalists in six categories. The winners in each category will be revealed at the 2017 Government Social Media Conference & Expo (GSMCON) in Dallas, Texas on April 12, 2017 during a ceremony at 1:15p.m.

The 2017 “Golden Post Awards” is the third annual award program exclusively designed to honor outstanding use of social media by local and state government agencies in the U.S.

The finalists are listed in random order.

Outstanding Social Media Results Finalists

  • City of West Hollywood, California
    “Social Media Takeover During LA Pride”
  • Utah Department of Transportation
    “Don’t Crowd the Plow”
  • City of Gilbert, Arizona
    “Can’t Stop The Feeling Social Video”
  • Sarasota Police Department, Florida
    “Sarasota Police Honor Fallen Officer & Son They Never Knew”
  • Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services, California
    “Social Media for the Whole Community”

Best Use of Humor on Social Media Finalists

  • Provo City, Utah
    “The Garbage Can-Can”
  • Lawrence Kansas Police Department
    “Drunk Driving and Tortilla Chips”
  • Iowa Department of Natural Resources
    “Nature Is Funny”
  • Texas Department of Transportation
    “#WeShouldntHavetoTellYouThis: Don’t PokemonGO and Drive”
  • Fort Worth Police Department, Texas
    “Stormtrooper Recruitment Video”

Social Media Strategy in Solving Crime Finalists

  • North Port Police Department, Florida
    “North Port Police Department Social Media Strategy”
  • Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation-Game Wardens
    “Oklahoma Game Wardens Use Facebook to Solve Wildlife Crime”
  • Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
    “AMBER Alert: Social Media’s Role In Rescuing Carlie Trent”
  • Orem Police Department, Utah
    “#Tattletale Tuesday”
  • Orange County Sheriff’s Department, California
    “OC Jail Escape”

Best Use of Crowdsourcing Finalists

  • City of Round Rock, Texas
    “Lost Teddy Alert”
  • Tennessee Department of Transportation
    “Safety Message Contest “
  • City of Lakeland, Florida
    “City of Lakeland Community Values Survey 2017”
  • Office of Iowa Secretary of State
    “Elections 101- #IAparticipate”
  • City of Orlando’s Downtown Development Board/ Community Redevelopment Agency, Florida
    “Best of DTO Photo Contest 2016”

Social Media Crisis Communications Finalists

  • Butte County Sheriff’s Office, California
    “Butte County Sheriff’s Office response to the Oroville Dam Spillway Emergency”
  • Washington State Patrol
    “Cascade Mall Shooting Media Response”
  • City of Orlando, Florida
    “Pulse Night Club Tragedy”

Government Social Media Policy Finalists

  • Skagit County, Washington
  • City of North Port/North Port Police Department, Florida
  • City of Brentwood, Tennessee


If you have any questions about the Golden Post Awards, please contact Government Social Media at (888) 803-9401 or email


Golden Post Award Entries accepted until March 8

We are seeking entries for the 2017 “Golden Post Awards” – the third annual award program exclusively designed to honor outstanding use of social media by local and state government agencies in the U.S.

Captain Zach Perron of the Palo Alto Police Department accepts 2016 Golden Post Award
Captain Zach Perron of Palo Alto PD accepts 2016 Golden Post Award
Eligible agencies include any government or quasi government entity or program from a city, town, township, village, borough, county, state, regional or tribal government or territory of the United States. This awards program is NOT open to federal agencies, educational institutions, military, or any agency outside of the United States or its territories.

Read the 2017 program changes to learn how we’ve updated the program.

2017 Golden Post Awards Timeline
Contest Opens: Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 at 9am PT
Entry Deadline: March 8, 2017 AT 11:59pm PT
Finalists Announced: March 15, 2017
Winners Named: GSMCON2017 Awards Ceremony (1:15-2:30pm) on April 12, 2017

Go to the Golden Post Awards page to read the full eligibility requirements and to submit your entry!

CIA & NATO Keynotes Join GSMCON2017 Lineup

Carolyn ReamsWe are pleased to welcome Carolyn Reams from the Central Intelligence Agency as a new keynote speaker for the Government Social Media Conference & Expo (GSMCON2017) in April 2017 in Dallas, Texas.

From the CIA’s epic first tweet to their ongoing engagement strategy, GSMCON attendees will learn from the agency’s social media lead.

Franky SaegermanFranky Saegerman of NATO will be traveling all the way from Brussels in western Europe to speak to GSMCON attendees. He is the Head of Digital Insights and also served as the head of the social media team from 2012 to 2015. We are honored to welcome Franky to our event.

Register for GSMCON2017 Today

Our new speakers are joining representatives from Facebook and LinkedIn for the GSMCON2017 keynote lineup! Make sure to get registered today.

Register Now

Facebook & LinkedIn Send Keynote Speakers to GSMCON2017

We are honored to welcome keynote speakers representing social networks Facebook and LinkedIn at the Government Social Media Conference & Expo in Dallas, Texas in April 2017.

We welcome the return of Facebook’s global government outreach director, Katie Harbath at our 2017 event. LinkedIn will also send a representative from their team to deliver keynote remarks.

Look for more exciting announcements about GSMCON2017 keynote speakers over the next couple of weeks. We have also recently made breakout session selections and will be announcing our event lineup shortly. The event received an overwhelming 117 speaker submissions this year! GSMCON2017 is the third annual social media conference for government social media managers.

Call for Speakers is Closed – 65% more entries this year

With 117 speaker submissions received and only approximately 25 slots to fill, our Speaker Committee has a tough job ahead of them. We are honored to receive so much interest in GSMCON2017! The entries came in from both government and private industry, and some international speakers as well.

We will begin contacting candidates and making speaker announcements on December 2, 2016.

Early-Bird registration is now open!

Early-Bird Registration is Open for #GSMCON2017

Update: Early-bird has closed and we are now accepting Regular Registrations

Registration has just opened for the Government Social Media Conference & Expo in Dallas, Texas. Register now to save $100 with our early-bird special.

This is the 3rd annual social media conference focused on U.S. city, county and state government (although Federal, military, education and private industry representatives are also welcome!)

  • Conference Dates: April 11-13, 2017
    (Welcome reception April 10 at 7pm. See event schedule.)
  • Early-Bird Registration: Now through Dec. 30, 2016
  • Call for Speakers Closes: Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016

Can’t attend in person? You may select a Virtual Pass during registration this year!

GSMCON2017 Call for Speakers is Open

We are seeking speakers to host breakout sessions at GSMCON2017! Speakers will receive a complimentary registration and Virtual Pass add-on. We are particularly looking for how-to’s and demonstrations this year. There are many suggested topics on the speaker proposal page.

Submit your proposal by the November 22, 2016 deadline.

We look forward to receiving your speaker proposal! GSMCON is the only major social media conference for local and state government social media managers. GSMCON2017 will be held in Dallas, Texas on April 11-13, 2017.

GSMCON2017 Will Be Held in Dallas, Texas

Here is preliminary information on the 2017 Government Social Media Conference & Expo! It will be the 3rd annual social media conference for U.S. city, county and state government.

Dates: April 11-13, 2017
Location: Dallas, Texas
Venue: Dallas Sheraton, 400 N. Olive St., Dallas, TX 75201
Room Block Rate: $138/night (government per diem)

Early-Bird (GSMO members $545, non-members $645)
Open Nov. 15 – Dec. 30, 2016

Regular (GSMO members $645, non-members $745)
Open Dec. 31, 2016 – March 24, 2017

Tentative Schedule:

Monday, April 10, 2017: Evening Welcome Reception
Tuesday, April 11, 2017: Full Day of General & Breakout Sessions
Wednesday, April 12, 2017: Full Day of General & Breakout Sessions
Thursday, April 13, 2017: Half Day of General & Breakout Sessions (ends @ noon)

Call for Speakers: November 1-22

Twitter’s Sean Evins is Latest Keynote for GSMCON2016

Sean EvinsTwitter is the latest platform to send a keynote speaker to the 2016 Government Social Media Conference & Expo. The social network will be represented by Sean Evins, senior partnerships manager for the government and elections team at Twitter.

Sean will deliver keynote remarks on Wednesday, April 6, at the second annual event for state and local government social media managers. He is part of a team driving creative use of the Twitter platform by government officials, agencies, and political campaigns.

TwitterGSMCON2016 is a one-of-a-kind training and networking event for those who manage social media in government. The conference now has representation by several of the largest social networks, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Regular Registration Ends After March 14, 2016

Regular registration pricing ends after March 14, 2016. Register for GSMCON2016 now!

LinkedIn Sends Keynote Speaker to GSMCON2016

Ben ThibeaultLinkedIn is the latest social network to send a keynote speaker to Reno, Nevada for the 2nd annual Government Social Media Conference for state and local government.

Linkedin veteran Ben Thibeault will deliver remarks to hundreds of public sector attendees at #GSMCON2016 on Wednesday, April 6, 2016. Ben brings 20 years of talent acquisition experience along with 10 years of strategic work within the social media space. His keynote address will highlight best practices for government recruitment strategy and will explore the significance of the retiring government workforce.  

LinkedInLinkedIn joins Facebook as a Platform Sponsor for #GSMCON2016. This is an annual, one-of-a-kind event that features general sessions, concurrent breakout sessions and interactive PowerTalk discussions. Attendees collaborate with a network of state and local government social media managers and learn strategy and techniques to maximize social media programs and bring value to citizens. Register for #GSMCON2016 now!

2016 Golden Post Awards Now Open!

Last year, well over 150 entries were received for the first Golden Post award program honoring U.S. state and local government and their social media efforts! The quality and breadth of last year’s entries illustrates just how much attention agencies are giving to engaging with the public on social media. The 2016 awards are now open and the entry page with program rules can be found at:

Updated Timeline:

Friday, Feb. 12: Entries Open
Tues., March 1: Entry Deadline
Tues., Mar. 8: Finalists Announced & Voting for Fan Favorite Begins
Mon., March 14: Voting Ends
Thursday, April 7: Awards Presentation Dinner during GSMCON2016

Awards will be jointly presented by ArchiveSocial and Government Technology at the 2016 Government Social Media Conference & Expo (GSMCON) at the Atlantis Resort in Reno, Nevada, on April 7, 2016. Attendance at GSMCON is not required to be eligible for the awards, but we encourage honorees to attend the conference as winners will receive their awards during a special Golden Post Awards Dinner on Thursday evening.

More GSMCON2016 Volunteers Needed

Did you know that you can apply to be a volunteer at GSMCON2016? We’re looking for a few more volunteers to help out at the event. In return for 4 hours of your time, we’ll give you a $150 post-conference discount and free GSMCON t-shirt.

Volunteering at GSMCON is a great way to meet other attendees (especially if you’re attending by yourself) and to help contribute to a fantastic event! We particularly need volunteer assistance manning our registration desk and serving as session monitors.

Read all the details and sign up on our Volunteer Page!

Facebook Keynotes GSMCON2016 & Will be Featured in Expo

Facebook’s government team is returning again to the second annual Government Social Media Conference for state and local government in April 2016.

Katie Harbath, Facebook’s Global Politics & Government Outreach Director, will deliver keynote remarks to hundreds of government social media managers during our general session kickoff. This year, the Facebook team will also have a presence in the exposition area providing resources and answering questions.

Katie is based in Facebook’s Washington, DC office and leads a team helping elected officials, politicians and governments around the world use Facebook to communicate with citizens. She has extensive experience in digital government, including having served as a Communications Director/Press Secretary in the U.S. House of Representatives.

We are honored to welcome back Facebook as a Platform Sponsor for our second annual conference in Reno, Nevada. Learn more about GSMCON2016 at

New for GSMCON2016: Session Tracks

We are excited to announce the addition of session tracks for the upcoming Government Social Media Conference and Expo in April 2016. We are adding these tracks in response to higher projected attendance. Over 80 speakers applied to present at this year’s conference, and this year’s event will feature 4 concurrent sessions.

To help plan which sessions will be a great fit for you to attend, the following tracks will be offered at GSMCON2016. A detailed schedule will be announced this week!

Platforms & Tools Track
Key advice for maximizing platforms, tools and software. Hear directly from solution providers and power users.

Training & Governance Track
Best practices for managing social media training, policy, legal issues and security.

Content & Strategy Track
Effective techniques for coordinating your agency’s communications and messaging via your social media program.

Public Safety & Emergency Management Track
Open to all attendees, this track focuses on social media management involving disaster and emergency situations.

The GSMCON2016 conference is the only dedicated social media conference for state and local government agencies. We bring together talented social media coordinators from government along with private industry and social platforms including Facebook & Instagram. For more information about attending or sponsoring GSMCON2016, visit

Over 80 Apply to Speak at GSMCON2016!

We were surprised and humbled to receive so many responses to our Call for Speakers for the 2016 Government Social Media Conference & Expo, scheduled for April 6-8, 2016 in Reno, Nevada.

Our Speaker Committee reviewed entries from an overwhelming number of 83 applicants who submitted 65 sessions. With only 23 open slots to work with, committee members had an enormous task in front of them.

We are announcing several sessions, with more to be named later this week:

  • Penning the Perfect Policy [Heather Shirm] Palm Beach County Public Affairs
  • Legal Aspects of Government Social Media [Julie Tappendorf] Ancel Glink
  • Social Media Event Coverage [Kristin Kline, Colin Steiner] CalPERS
  • Canva: Creating Beautiful Graphics Without a Designer [Brittany Ritzi Foust] City of Cordona
  • Content Creation for Disasters [Mary Jo Flynn, Jeff Trujillo] Sacramento County OES
  • Creating a Social Media Program for Law Enforcement [Kristin Ranchero, Natalia Bowser] Montana Highway Patrol
  • User Experience & Social Media [Bethany McDaniel] Georgia Technology Authority
  • Video Platforms for Community Outreach [Erin Cochran, Maureen DeNieva] Marin County Health & Human Services
  • Managing Multiple Social Media Accounts [Will Hampton, Austin Ellington] City of Roundrock, TX
  • Managing Social Media Campaigns [Timothy Martin] City of Roanoke, VA
  • Social Strategy for Law Enforcement w/o Full-Time PIO [Royjindar Singh, Anthony Bejaran] Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department
  • Social Media Exercises for Managing Emergencies [Megan Vandenheuvel] National Weather Service Great Falls
  • Develop Brand Advocates in Your Community via Facebook [Jennifer Snyder] Town of Queen Creek, AZ
  • Listen, Engage & Make a Negative a Positive [Brooke Hooker, Alex Carr] Division of Transportation Lake County, IL
  • Managing Elected Officials’ Profiles [Karen Tapahe, Whitney Booth] Provo Municipal Council

Regular registration rates are in effect through Monday, March 14.

Call for Speakers Open Through November 25

We are seeking government and industry experts to host breakout sessions at GSMCON2016! Speakers will receive complimentary registration this year. We are working on several enhancements based on attendee feedback.

Can you speak on any of these topics? Submit your proposal before the midnight deadline on November 25, 2015.

  • Platform specific sessions, including: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, etc.
  • Social Media Policy Best Practices
  • Managing Social Media Teams
  • Social Media in Law Enforcement
  • Social Media in Emergency Management
  • Social Media Campaigns
  • Video Platforms & Tips
  • Managing Negativity
  • Creating Social Media Training Programs
  • Social Media Advertising Tactics
  • Monitoring/Listening/Intelligence Gathering
  • Managing Elected Officials’ Profiles

Additional Requirements

We’ll be working with our speakers one-on-one to bring attendees top-notch sessions. As a part of this, there will be certain requirements on your end as a speaker. If selected, we’ll connect with you in a 20-minute kickoff call and a preliminary outline must be submitted by February, 8, 2016. PowerPoint slides are required, and a GSMCON PowerPoint template will be provided. Breakout session rooms will have conference laptops wired in, including internet and audio.

We look forward to receiving your speaker proposal!

GSMCON 2016 Planning Underway

The 2016 Government Social Media Conference & Expo (GSMCON) is the second annual social media conference for U.S. city, county and state government. The debut event in 2015 attracted 365 attendees, including speakers from Facebook, Google, Hootsuite and government social media managers from across America. Attendance at GSMCON 2016 is expected at 450-500.

GSMCON features general sessions, concurrent breakout sessions and interactive PowerTalk discussions. Attendees collaborate with a network of state and local government social media managers and learn strategy and techniques to maximize social media programs to bring value to citizens.

Download the complete GSMCON 2016 Executive Summary (pdf) for pricing and details.

  • Tuesday, April 5, 2016: Evening Welcome Reception
  • Wednesday, April 6, 2016: Full Day of General & Breakout Sessions
  • Thursday, April 7, 2016: Full Day of General & Breakout Sessions
  • Friday, April 8, 2016: Half Day of General & Breakout Sessions (ends @ noon)

Online Early-Bird Registration opens on Oct. 12, 2015!

All GSMCON sessions are held at our host hotel, the Atlantis Resort in Reno, Nevada.