Technical.ly Philly

Oct. 26, 2011 12:00 pm

Philadelphia Parking Authority launches social media campaign to bolster responsiveness, transparency and customer relations

Following quiet structural changes at the Philadelphia Parking Authority, the oft-criticized state-run agency announced today a transparency-driven social media campaign. After news this month of staff sensitivity training and staff restructuring around customer service, the PPA will launch outreach efforts through Facebook, Twitter, QR codes and other tools. Find the PPA on Twitter @PhilaParking and […]

Following quiet structural changes at the Philadelphia Parking Authority, the oft-criticized state-run agency announced today a transparency-driven social media campaign.

After news this month of staff sensitivity training and staff restructuring around customer service, the PPA will launch outreach efforts through Facebook, Twitter, QR codes and other tools.

Find the PPA on Twitter @PhilaParking and on Facebook here.

Tossing out an estimated 1.7 million tickets a year and forking over $99.6 million to the city and school district, according to a press release, hasn’t always earned the love of residents and visitors alike. The agency is famously the subject of the A&E reality show ‘Parking Wars,’ suggesting a divide between parkers and enforcers.

“While solving problems and addressing customer issues will be a major thrust, we will also use Facebook and Twitter to keep the public informed about parking emergencies during inclement weather – special holiday parking
discounts – parking at the airport during holiday rushes, as well as residential parking issues in our neighborhoods,” PPA Executive Director Vince Fenerty said in a press release. “Facebook and Twitter will help us better educate the public about parking regulations in the city, as well as our signage.”

The PPA strategy has been led by ChatterBlast Media, a Center City-based social media consulting firm. Evan Urbania and Matt Ray of Chatterblast worked with new PPA Customer Service Director Sue Cornell to develop the communications plan, according to the press release.

“The PPA will utilize online tools and social media platforms to allow users to get the information they need quickly and have access to support using new technologies and tools,” said Urbania.

Urbania says the technical components include:

  • “A highly customized Facebook page with easy to access links and frequently used resources on the PPA website and throughout the web.”
  • “A customer support system called Get Satisfaction integrated into Facebook, which allows for community-based support and access to PPA resources for questions, problems and praise.”
  • “Involver applications integrated into Facebook to allow for interactive promotions, information sharing and a professional backend to manage everything.”
  • “A blog added to the current PPA website to share informational resources and content quickly with the online customer community.”
  • “A team-based channel management solution called Spredfast which allows for internal and external team members to schedule content, respond to issues and track progress from one dashboard.”

“We’re moving forward and using the latest online communications tools and strategies to encourage interaction with our customers and improve our overall customer service,” said Customer Service Director Cornell

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Christopher Wink

Christopher Wink is a cofounder and Editorial Director of Technical.ly, the local technology news network. Previously, Wink worked for a homeless advocacy nonprofit and was a freelance reporter for a variety of publications. He writes regularly about news innovation and best business practices on his personal blog here. The bicycle commuter loves cities, urban politics and squabbling about neighborhood boundaries.

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