Nextdoor, the popular neighborhood-based social media network, has announced a change to its guidelines that will allow special districts to establish a formal Nextdoor for Public Agencies page on the platform, fostering enhanced community and public relations.
The welcome change comes after extensive efforts with special districts stakeholders to promote awareness of special districts as a local government in efforts to gain easier access to the platform’s tools for community communications.
More than 5,000 public agencies currently use Nextdoor. Many utilize the tool to share information with residents in specific neighborhoods. The tool may be effective in cases of community events, emergency alerts, and other messages targeting audiences based on geography. According to Nextdoor, the platform reaches 98 percent of the nation’s communities and is used by nearly a third of households in the United States.
Now, special districts may apply to create a free Nextdoor for Public Agencies page to better communicate with their communities. In order to do so, districts must certify that:
- They are a permanent government agency with a full-time staff.
- They do not represent a committee, board, program, or project.
- They do not represent an elected official.
- They have a discrete jurisdictional boundary that has been approved by their state's governing body.
- They can provide a GIS map file of their boundary upon request.
- They can apply using a personalized work email (i.e., email@example.com) and can provide proof of employment upon request
This policy change is the culmination of a collaborative effort between Nextdoor and NSDC’s California Member, the California Special Districts Association. Over the course of the year, more than two dozen special district officials were part of a working group to confirm how special districts were accessing and using Nextdoor. The efforts produced a better understanding of special districts’ interest in using the platform.
For more information or to sign up for Nextdoor for Public Agencies, go to www.nextdoor.com/agency. Special districts with questions may contact firstname.lastname@example.org.