Tweet or meet: Local officials handling snow PR in totally different ways
December 28th, 2010
06:16 PM ET

Tweet or meet: Local officials handling snow PR in totally different ways

It’s a tale of two cities and one heck of a storm that has dumped more than a foot of snow on New York City and Newark, New Jersey. Both cities are struggling to respond to the needs of their residents.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg took the traditional path, holding news conferences assuring the residents that life and business goes on despite some minor inconveniences.

Meanwhile, Newark Mayor Cory Booker has added social media to his arsenal of snowplows.

Booker is using Twitter to communicate directly with residents to help get roads cleared and people who are stuck in the snow some assistance.

Here’s an example of a Twitter exchange between the mayor and a Newark resident.

After one motorist asked on Twitter for a street to be cleared,  Booker tweeted: "f ur stuck DM me ur #," before sending a crew to dig the motorist out.

Booker also promised to send a road crew to clear streets around a hospital, after someone tweeted that it had not been adequately cleared.

"Sending team immediately back there 2 ensure hospital is clear," Booker tweeted.

A resident even twitpic'd a photo of a city crew clearing a roadway, and thanked the mayor.

"You are so welcome!" tweeted Booker.

Two mayors, one problem. Cleaning up the snow one news conference and one tweet at a time.

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Filed under: New Jersey • New York • Weather
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Fred Bartkowski

    There are growing economic ineqaulities in India.

    December 28, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alexis

      All I can say is, " I saw NYC shut down. Nothing was plowed. I slept in the floor of an airport, the trains, busses were shut down with no updates, was stranded on the subyway for 4 hours with no heat, no communication from conductor other than, "were temporarily suspended." At the end of it all I was re-routed back to NYC since NJT shut down.

      December 28, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa Dowda

      A Collection of Newsfeed Status Updates from the past two days of some of New York's Strongest:

      December 29, 2010 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. lululbelle1956

    The Mayor (Bloomberg) laid off more than 9,000 thousands of workers since spring of 2010. What do the rich (top 1-2% and corporations) and lower-middle class workers expect? Services? From the April, 2010 date of the layoffs, and continuing, you can expect to provide your own CPR services (pump your own heart), fire, 911, EMS, teachers, garbage, snow removal, parks, social service (and other services) to yourselves. That is the price you pay. Taxation, without services. Congratulations GOP! Keep bashing those public service workers and unions!

    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announces budget cuts ...
    Nov 18, 2010 ... NEW YORK CITY (WABC) - Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to reduce the budget .... Lay off for one week 641 Street Maintenance and Arterial ... – Cached

    (also, see blog from April, 2010 laying off 8,000 workers)

    December 28, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Orlando

      Bloomberg is a vampire sucking the blood out of the working class and an Elitist making sure the Broadway crowd can watch their plays while the working class remained trapped in the boroughs. The Citytime Scandal wasn't enough, the changing of the term limits wasn't enough now there is this black eye on his administration. Granted NYC is a difficult place but these instances are clear in his agenda. Raising the tolls on the bridges, raising the fare for the MTA, parking violations, at attempt to toll coming into Manhattan....he's better off having the army meter maids kick in the doors in the boroughs and look under your mattress.

      December 28, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Simon Thompson

    Check out my most recent blog post (called: "Hashtag for Help") on Mayor Cory Booker's incredible response to the snow storm via Twitter and how it predicts a very positive future for the use of social media by elected officials (and how other politicians should follow suit):

    December 28, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Robert

    Booker basically has no choice but to use social media to get the word out. New Jersey, except for NBC 40 in Atlantic City, has no networks of our own and are at the whim of New York. New York media doesn't cover anything that happens in New Jersey. The southern half of the state is covered by Philadelphia. New Jersey is the only state that is like this and we are the 11th largest state in population – yet we can NOT get LOCAL news. Connecticut has about EIGHT network stations. Many New Jerseyans have been demanding out OWN networks for years now.

    December 28, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      I can't attest to NY, but living in the Philadelphia Media Market, I see plenty of South Jersey coverage. Obviously it's not covered as much as Philadelphia, but it's covered as much as the surrounding counties in PA.

      December 28, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jack Howitzer


    December 28, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BigMan

    SHAME ON YOU BLOOMBERG, SHAME ON YOU!!! What if someone is very sick? How an ambulance will get through this snow mass in 4 boroughs. What, my family member will die because an ambulance will not be able to make? Why? Because Bloomberg did not put enough workers on the streets.

    December 28, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. FstEti

    Well, the REALLY important thing is that no Muslimas were discriminated against during this fiasco, or HEADS would roll.........

    December 28, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Words cannot begin to capture the essence of your stupidity. Not only is that racist, it's completely irrelevant. Get a life and stop worrying about nonsense.

      December 28, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. John

    These unions are killing NYC, For a job that requires a 10 workers to get the job done, the unions can't get done with a 100 workers. They negotiated a lot of benefits including fewer working hours, so that they can get paid overtime for regular work. They are a burden on the city.

    December 28, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. duVitt

    Wallington NJ: two days after snowfall ended, no plows in the sight. All this Mayors are that same, they remember how to put bandit sings at the election time, forget about citizen during the crisis. How is your holiday vacation Mr Mayor of Wallington? Everything is OK? Just to remind you Mr Mayor of Wallington, average tax bill for 2-family house in Walington is 12000 (twelve_thousand) usd!!!!!

    December 28, 2010 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Wellthen

    I love it when Michael Bloomberg has conferences. He's so demeaning and condescending that it's actually funny. Also, I didn't vote him for mayor but I of course follow his conferences coz he's our mayor...the man never smiles. never. most miserable mayor ever.

    December 28, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Scotto-New England

    While these two mayors twitted and conferenced, Bostons mayor simply put a plan into action and BOSTON was OPEN for business today. We got just as much snow as NY and NJ, got hit just as hard and yet, we cleaned up and got out just fine.

    To the people of NY and NJ, your leaders have their heads in a snowbank! Take note!

    December 28, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ernest

    The lack of snow removal is a crime. Many side streets still remain inaccessible a good 36 hours after the last snow fell. What a shame. This is a safety issue that is not being addressed.

    December 29, 2010 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. Tom Gottlieb

    Newark was not in good shape either I must say. Even today there was a street that I couldn't drive on because it had not been plowed in a very long time. There was at least 4 inches of snow in the street. New Jersey has done a very poor job overall in removing snow.

    December 29, 2010 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  14. sunsohot

    It amazes me how people demand that mere mortals fix whatever Mother Nature throws at them, and fix it NOW. We are such a self centered society and our children are following our sad.

    December 29, 2010 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  15. David

    I love how Booker is responding (in fact a friend of mine's grandmother was helped in the process) but In Bloomberg's defense, Newark's population is a fraction of NYC so unfortunately it would be impossible for Bloomberg to do a similar strategy as an individual.

    December 29, 2010 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
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