Conference paper
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Abstract: The use of social media is on a meteoric rise, as is the need for government and private corporations to consult with the general public and their relevant stakeholders. This paper analyses the use of Facebook and Twitter as contemporary public involvement tools for improving planning policies, plans or projects due to their popular nature and their potential for improving engagement in planning processes. This paper evaluates how these two social media platforms are used to inform or consult with different stakeholders and the public, and if used how, they can be true participation tools. An analysis of the literature and discourse relevant to both public involvement and social media use reveals how the planning industry could use Facebook and Twitter. This study draws on research conducted on 250 NSW state government agencies and other public and private organisations’ use and management of Facebook and Twitter to engage with the general public and industry stakeholders. From this research, recommendations are given for the best use of social media, especially Facebook and Twitter, for public involvement purposes in planning.

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