Local governments strive to keep citizens informed through social media

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Charleston County residents who want to stay informed on the changes going on around them now have a new resource.The Charleston County Zoning & Planning Department has launched their own Facebook page.By 'liking' their page, you can get updates on county zoning and planning projects right on your smartphone, tablet or anywhere you access Facebook.Officials say postings will include meeting notifications, updates on planning efforts and opportunities for you to make your voice heard on projects around the county.Articles from the American Planning Association and its local chapters, other government agencies and County partners will also be shared. The Zoning & Planning Department Facebook page will also allow residents to sign up for department updates and submit comments and questions to the department. {}"Allowing more interaction will enhance the community's understanding of the various functions of the Department and expand the County's means of communicating with the public," said Dan Pennick, Charleston County Zoning & Planning Director. "Social media allows us to share information quickly and enables us to reach a wider audience who can have input on a variety of zoning and planning matters."This isn't the first foray into social media for the county. There is also a main Facebook page for Charleston County government and another for Emergency Management, Consolidated 9-1-1 Center's Public Education Program and the Board of Elections and Voter Registration. Besides Facebook, Charleston County also has a UStream page where county council meetings are streamed live along with a YouTube page and Twitter account.Other government bodies have also taken up social media including Berkeley County which, besides Facebook, is also on YouTube and Google Plus.The cities of Charleston and North Charleston have their own Facebook page and are active on Twitter.The Dorchester County Emergency Management Department's Facebook page shares helpful information for dealing with severe weather.