Managed social media for the Pierce County Auditor’s Office

The Pierce County Auditor’s Office hired Engage Northwest to manage social media on two contracts: in Fall 2016 during the November General Election and from February-June 2017 to manage social media for all of their services – licensing, recording, animal services and elections.

Photo of last voter in line

Live-tweeting on Election night.

As a part-time contractor, Liz Satterthwaite created and published content daily on the Auditor’s social media channels, including setting up the Instagram page.

The types of posts included original pictures, videos, graphics, links, and status updates. Liz monitored social media and responded to comments.


Up arrow with 33%During this time, the number of Facebook fans increased by 33.4% (almost 200 new fans). Social media encouraged Pierce residents to vote – more people registered and voted in the November 2016 election in Pierce County’s history. (See PCTV’s episode “Social media’s impact on the Pierce County General Election“).

Social media also encouraged candidates to run for political office. In May 2017, the most local candidates filed for office in an “odd-year” election (no national races). Which Facebook post received the highest social engagement? It occurred when one candidate decided to withdraw from a race after the withdrawal deadline:

Digital screen in the lobby

Using Canva, Liz created slides for a digital screen in the Auditor’s Office.  The digital screen provides information to customers in the lobby, answering questions about car tabs, passports, pet licenses, voting, and more.

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Staffed meetings and events

Liz attended meetings and events with the Auditor, including voter registration at a local high school, get out the disability vote, ride the bus, television interviews, and a community open house about Pierce County’s new voting system.

Pictures and videos

Liz took and edited pictures and videos, uploading them from the office and field. For example, she filmed the Auditor giving voting tips at five voting centers in Pierce County and regularly took pictures of customers, voters and employees. Some of the most engaged posts featured the employees in the Auditor’s Office.

Photo of Animal Control Officers Recognition Week.

The County Council recognizes Pierce County’s Animal Control Officers.

Facebook Ads

Example of Facebook ad for Korean community

Liz created Facebook ads to reach specific audiences in Pierce County. For example, Liz created an ad to reach the Korean community about voting. This ad targeted Korean-speaking residents and linked to a Korean Broadcasting System (KBS WA) interview with the Auditor. The interview was in English with Korean subtitles. The Facebook ad reached over 1800 Korean speaking residents — many are younger audiences (2/3rds were under the age of 35 and 83% were under the age of 45). People clicked to watch the video, and some liked the post and the Auditor’s Facebook page.

Thank you!

Thank you to the wonderful team at the Auditor’s Office!


Here is a compilation of photos from the November 2016 General Election.

Can’t attend SXSW? Follow on social

If you can’t attend the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in person, catch some of the creative content on social media. SXSW will live stream over 60 events, including President Obama’s keynote conversation today. The President is expected to interact with the audience about using technology to increase participation in the political process. The festival’s live streams are available here.

**Updated with a post from President Obama’s talk today — how can we use technology and data so government can work better and increase civic engagement:

Local government will be engaged, as Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland discusses how data and evidence can improve lives on this panel.

**Updated with a post from the “What Works” data and evidence panel this morning:


SXSW showcases innovations in music, art and technology in fun, interactive ways. The event runs from March 11 – 20 in Austin, Texas.

For more information, follow along at #SXSW2016, catch the live streams and learn more about art, communications and technology! 



Visual storytelling: Periscope, drones and more

Visual storytelling continues to be a hot trend in 2016 – GoPros capture action and adventure from different angles, drones fly and film up high and social media apps allow us to see places and events in real time.

In December 2015, Apple named Periscope the iPhone app of the year. Owned by Twitter, Periscope is a free live-streaming video app. It launched last year and quickly attracted more than 10 million users who created more than 100 million live video broadcasts. In just a few weeks into 2016, Periscope already is integrating and innovating. Some new features include:

  • Periscope live streams and replays in a Tweet. Users do not need a Periscope account or app and can watch the video directly in Twitter. This feature should allow users to reach greater audiences.

  • Periscope teamed up with GoPro, so people can live stream on Periscope with a HERO4 Black or Silver camera. Live action video will be on display at the X Games in Aspen, CO this week.

Showing dramatic images from the air, drones continue to gain in popularity.  Because of security, safety and privacy issues, the Federal Aviation Administration requires drone owners to register before flying outdoors. More information about the rules and registration are available on the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Registration web page.

In the Puget Sound area, businesses, individuals and government agencies increasingly use drones to help tell their stories. Some examples include:

How will you incorporate visual communications in the year ahead?

For more information

  • New York Times article about Apple naming Periscope the app of 2015.

Puget Sound counties rank high in digital communications

Three Puget Sound counties were named top 10 digital counties in the U.S, according to the 2015 digital counties survey: King (5th), Snohomish (7th) and Pierce (8th). Skagit County ranked 5th among small counties. Congratulations to all!

What do the top digital counties have in common? Many embrace new technology to improve service and engage with citizens. They strive for open government and collaboration. Many top digital counties use computer programs and store information on the cloud. Employees have mobile technology. Customer-focused, they make decisions based on data.

Check out this infographic from that shows the most widely used technologies, priorities, “winning formula” and strategies for moving forward. It’s good information to improve efficiency and increase engagement.