Government and nonprofit leaders are meeting at UCF on Friday, April 8, to talk about ways to use social media when dealing with crises and how emerging technologies can facilitate an open dialogue with the public.

“Social media are tools that have the potential to transform relationships with citizens and stakeholders,” said Thomas Bryer, an associate professor and one of the organizers of the event. “Organization leaders need to approach the adoption and use of social media with careful consideration and attention to the required resources to make use of the tool successful.”

The 10th annual UCF Public Administration Research Conference, hosted by the School of Public Administration and the Center for Public and Nonprofit Management, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the FAIRWINDS Alumni Center.

The theme is “Social Governance: Developments in Digital Democracy,” and attendees will hear from academic researchers and practitioners in the field.

Organizers expect about 120 attendees, primarily public information officers, social media managers and nonprofit professionals.

Associate professor Staci Zavattaro, who worked with Bryer to organize the event, said she is eager to hear what participants discuss during the workshop.

“Our goal is to get the top minds into one space so everyone can learn about best practices and stumbling blocks to avoid, and leave with some new idea or new way of thinking about how social media should be implemented in their organization,” said Zavattaro.

Speakers who have submitted their papers to the conference organizers will be up for a Best Paper Award worth $700. Students will also be able to present their research for a chance at a $100 award.

Lori Brainard of the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at George Washington University and a representative from the Orlando City Soccer Club are scheduled to speak about how they use social media.

For more information, visit the PARC conference website.