Social Media and Digital Engagement at the National Archives
Social Media Strategy

Tell Us What You Think!

We would like to hear your comments on this strategy! Tell us what you think on our NARAtions blog, or send us an email at socialmedia@nara.gov.

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
Posted 12/8/2010

PDF Version

At the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), social media tools have the potential to transform our agency and the way we serve our customers and American citizens. Our agency is committed to being more open as well as promoting transparency, participation, and collaboration. Social media tools will help us accomplish our mission as the nation's record keeper to preserve government records and make them more accessible to you.

Social media is about community and conversations. Our social media strategy is based on six core values that will help transform NARA. We focus on three main communities that we are seeking to engage: our staff community, the government community, and citizen archivists.

Our Core Values for Social Media
  • Collaboration: Together as one NARA and as partners with the public to accomplish our mission
  • Leadership: Out in front among government agencies and cultural institutions
  • Initiative: An agency of leaders who are passionate, innovative, and responsible
  • Diversity: Making NARA a great place to work by respecting diversity and all voices
  • Community: Caring about and focusing on the government community, citizen archivists, and each other
  • Openness: Creating an open NARA with authentic voices

Revolutionize Communication and Collaboration within Our Staff Community

We want to make NARA a great place to work. We will use social media tools to increase information and knowledge sharing at and across all levels at NARA. We believe openness is one of the keys to unlocking our collective potential. Peer to peer communications and networking can lead to better collaboration, more efficiency and less friction.

As organic communities of practice emerge and communications tools are put directly in the hands of all staff, we all will have opportunities to be leaders and to influence the thinking of our internal community. Collaboration networks uncover experts in unexpected places and surprising solutions to problems. We will foster the spirit of innovation by making NARA a safe place to discuss and try new things.

Strategies
  • Empower staff to use social media tools to work effectively
  • Develop a cadre of social media leaders at NARA, who are subject matter experts with social media savvy
  • Implement and encourage use of social media tools for collaboration
  • Implement and encourage use of social media tools for professional networking
  • Implement and encourage use of social media tools for information and status update sharing

Engage with the Government Community

We will lead the way among government agencies in focusing on the government community, including federal records managers, declassification stakeholders, and citizens and groups interested in records access.

We will strive to make NARA more efficient and effective. Government community members' opinions, expert advice, and knowledge will inform and shape our plans of action.

We will embrace, develop, and invest in new technology to further our mission. By promoting innovation, collaboration and the smart use of technology, we will do more with less. We will develop our staff's knowledge of that technology. We will take the initiative and be leaders in the field of electronic records management for social media. We will lead by example and develop best practices for the capture of social media records created by our own activities and work.

Strategies
  • Create spaces and platforms for conversations with the government community
  • Participate in online spaces and conversations that engage federal records manager, declassification stakeholders, and citizens and public interest groups with a focus on records access
  • Develop and demonstrate best practices for social media records management
  • Implement best practices for e-records management at NARA

Build and Strengthen Our Relationships with Researchers and Citizen Archivists

We think our researchers are admirable. Your intrepid spirit while following trails of historical clues and tracking down evidence is astounding, and the fascinating stories you are able to tell by drawing connections between those points of history inspire us. So many of you have a wealth of expertise that you have gathered over time while researching at NARA and at other archives and libraries. Your stories and contributions help illuminate the significance of our government's records to our nation's history.

Many of you are natural sharers, and we hope to foster that impulse and encourage those researchers we call citizen archivists. By mapping uncharted terrain in the archival landscape, you are creating navigational tools for others -- researchers, historians, genealogists, educators, students, volunteers, citizen archivists, and archivists -- who come across those records next and can follow your trail. We hope to create online spaces and platforms where you can make available and collaborate on these kinds of pathfinder information, sign posts, tags, and tales. All of these components will make the research endeavor smoother for newcomers and help make the records more discoverable by history lovers who don't know yet about the National Archives. By engaging in more conversations with you and getting to know you better, we seek to exchange our insights and thereby improve access to our nation's documentary heritage together.

Strategies
  • Participate in online spaces where researchers, citizen archivists, and potential citizen archivists spend time online
  • Make our resources and services more findable and sharable
  • Find, encourage, and recognize citizen archivists
  • Create opportunities and platforms for researchers and citizen archivists to help us and for them to help each other
  • Turn our catalog into a social catalog and invite the public to contribute to the online information available about our holdings
  • Find, encourage, and recognize the support of the Foundation for the National Archives


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