This is an Entry to the Government Best Practice Recognition Awards
Social Media Engagement
Department of Transportation
Best practice Focus Area(s)
Customer and citizen focus
The Public Assistance Division under the DOTr Communications Office is in charge of assisting and responding to the inquiries, concerns, and needs of various clients coursed through the Departmental and government channels, as well as its social media platforms. Established in 2012, the DOTr Facebook page gained only 13,000 likes until 2016. With its constant interaction and timely response to every message and comment posted by the public, DOTr’s social media account continues to grow and widen its reach. At present, the DOTr Facebook page gained 424,010 likes.
DOTr is now considered as one of the top-performing and has the highest number of engagements among other government agencies. To gain the public’s trust and impart knowledge on the DOTr’s initiatives, the DOTr sought out to bring the necessary information to the Filipino people regarding its projects, programs, and services by maximizing social media. The DOTr maintains its social media presence by responding to the concerns, issues, complaints, inquiries, requests for information, and suggestions with sustained engagement with the public. Largely satisfactory and positive feedback on the management of the Department’s social media account was also recorded based on the latest client satisfaction survey conducted by the DOTr Communications and Commuter Affairs Office.
Background and Problem
Before the Duterte administration, a mere division—the Public Information Division (PID)—handled the communications and information dissemination components of the then Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).
The PID, since its establishment, is composed of merely ten (10) plantilla positions only. The old PID was only designed to cater to traditional media, focusing on print media, with limited exposure to radio and television, and without any exposure to digital media. The functions of the old PID were dispersed to several sections in different divisions such as the Media Monitoring and Evaluation, External Publications, and Library.
Solution and Impact
At present, the DOTr Communications and Commuter Affairs Office is the institutional communications arm of the DOTr. It is mainly in charge of the supervision, implementation, operations, and management of all communications-related functions of the DOTr, such as Media Affairs (including Media Relations/Coordination and News Monitoring and Evaluation), Publications (Internal/External and Multimedia Design Editing), Public Assistance (Public Concerns Management and Digital Media), Communications Research, and Events Management.
As the recognized organizational mouthpiece of the DOTr, the Communications and Commuter Affairs Office is primarily responsible for formulating, crafting, disseminating, and monitoring all official messages of the Department through the utilization of different communication tools, and the maximization of various platforms and existing types of media.
The Digital Media Section, under the Public Assistance Division, is tasked to manage and maintain the Social Media Engagement of the Department. Its functions include the following:
- Managing the digital media presence of the Department through posting of relevant information, such as press releases, real-time updates, live tweets, live streaming of press releases, real-time updates, live tweets, live streaming of project launches and biddings, infographics, announcements, statement of clarification, and the like, on its social accounts;
- Answering concerns sent by the public on its social media accounts, and refer them to appropriate offices, when there is a necessity;
- Recording and monitoring concerns received by the Department through social media and monitor the online public sphere for the occurrence of any trending topic or issue that might precipitate into crisis, and coordinate these to the management for preparation and employment of a crisis communication strategy/plan;
- Uploading and managing content and appearance of the DOTr website, to keep it up to date and in line with the image and branding of the Department; and
- Working hand in hand with the Public Concerns Section for reception and referral of concerns.
From only 13,000 likes from 2012 to November 2016, the DOTr Facebook page now has 424,010 followers, composed of Filipinos from diverse age groups and located not only in various parts of the country but also across the globe.