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Council OKs K23 social media experiment


Of the Keizertimes

Keizer City Councilors on Monday agreed to pay $4,900 for a two-month experiment.

The experiment builds upon the city’s established and K-23 ventures with Rex Robertson. Currently the public access TV station broadcasts various Keizer meetings live on Channel 23 on Comcast Cable, as well as archiving them online.

The new proposal, brought forth by Robertson and videographer David Dahle, would utilize PEG (Public, Educational or Governmental) funds to pay for Dahle to shoot, edit and upload seven videos a month to social media accounts. That breaks down to $350 per video.

“It’s more and more that people are not getting the news in traditional ways,” city manager Chris Eppley said. “They get it more online with small sound bytes. It’s time to take it to the next step, the way they want to consume it, which is by small sound bytes.”

Robertson sees this as a logical progression from what has been done the last 12 years.

“Your efforts to do the work on Comcast Channel 23, then to expand to Internet video with has increased communication significantly out to the community,” Robertson said. “You have done a good job up to this point.”

Dahle said he wants to tell stories of the councilors and also events that happen in Keizer. So far he has already interviewed councilors Joe Egli, Marlene Quinn and Cathy Clark. He has also done videos about Keizer Homegrown Theater’s recent production of Julius Caesar, concerts at the Keizer Rotary Association’s amphitheater and local pilot Wayne Moreland.

Dahle also set up a Facebook page for Egli.

“On Joe’s page, I did an interview with Joe about small business,” Dahle said. “We created 201 likes for Joe’s page in one week, while 3,718 people saw it. Joe’s own mom commented on this. This format is so exciting. This is a great format.”

Dahle expressed a desire to work with each councilor on videos and Facebook pages, sharing the content on 200 other Facebook pages.

“I work with businesses on River Road and do their social media,” Dahle said. “Now we have shared content. Joe Egli’s page was on 5,711 walls in Keizer. That’s where, if this goes forward, the new way of civic communication will be.”

If the experiment continues past two months, Robertson said he will pay $100 per video out of his programming funds, knocking the cost down to $250 per video.

“Up until now, we have captured moments,” he said. “This form of communication is more personable, which attracts in more social media. That’s what Dave brings to the table, excellent communication and drawing out what people want to hear about subjects. You want to get the information out there, improve the communication with the community and build the excitement. This is the channel to get on.”

Mayor Lore Christopher noted the city gets about $100,000 a year for the PEG fund.

“They’re asking for $4,900 the next two months with this experiment, with money we couldn’t spend anywhere else,” she told councilors.

Robertson noted 10 videos have already been produced to give a preview of what will be done. He and Dahle will be back before councilors in October to discuss a continuation.

“That sounds great,” Christopher said. “Let’s see how it goes.”

Eppley noted the need for such work.

“For me, we do many things very well,” he said. “But we don’t tell our story very well. We have to have a dialogue with our customers. We have to reach them in the way they want to be reached. Government, as a whole, needs to work better at telling our story.”

Councilors unanimously approved a motion for city staff to prepare funds to pay for the experiment.

“Alright gentlemen, go!” Christopher exclaimed.