The Town of Renfrew approved a new website and social media policy on Feb. 14.
The 24-page report is a policy statement for the use of the relaunched website and various social media accounts.
Town clerk Kim Bulmer told council they currently have fringe Facebook pages and are looking to move more in the corporate direction.
“This is putting a high level framework on how we manage social media and the website,” said Bulmer. “It’s a living document that can be tweaked as we go along.”
Coun. Kate Windle declared a pecuniary interest at the start of the discussion and removed herself from the council chambers.
Reeve Peter Emon noted the town would be able to take control of all social media accounts to get a message out.
“If something significant happens, the same message goes out,” said Emon.
Coun. Tom Sidney thought it was time to use this platform.
“In 2017, we as a corporation need to have this,” said Sidney. “It’s definitely needed, and a lot of work went into it.”
After the meeting, Arlene Jamieson, chair of the economic development committee, said it’s the proper way for the information to get out on social media.
“People are always going to get on there and say whatever they want. When you are in the town of Renfrew, when you are on council or a staffer, there has to be a policy in place so it’s done properly,” said Jamieson. “So the information getting out there is accurate and true because a lot of times it’s just people who get on there and get on a rant, and it gets turned around.”
The report states the town ‘may’ make use of highly visible, popular and readily accessible social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Kijiji and an e-newsletter.
“(Social media) is an important part of where we are going. Social media has become so important in our whole society, you need structure, and this will give us some structure on how it will be done,” said Renfrew Mayor Don Eady.
Jamieson said the launch of the social media accounts would happen sooner rather than later.
The Renfrew Fire Department and the Parks and Recreation Department both have their own Facebook pages, and Jamieson says they might be tweaked.
The report also states the economic development officer would be on the website/social media steering committee.
“That particular contract is only six months but we are putting out another one and this will become a full-time position, that’s what we are planning,” said Jamieson. “That person will always be involved.”
Bulmer confirmed they are currently looking at grant funds to continue with an economic development program and position.
Both Jamieson and Eady have heard a lot of positive feedback on the new website.
“I encourage people, if they have any comments favourable or suggestions, we are wide open,” said Eady. “This is a brand new website and anything that is brand new sometimes needs a little tweaking. We are very open to what people want to see.”