Seoul City Mayor's Online Inauguration and "Won-soon's Seoul Story"
Seoul Metropolitan Government

The Problem

1. Citizens’ participation was limited in the public sector communication field, despite widespread use of the Internet: Although, communication between Internet users spreads quickly in real time through Twitter, Facebook, etc., these sites are not properly used as a policy opinions convergence arena, except for the providing simple information about the public sector’s policy communication field, which needs citizens’ participation and communication the most.
Despite Seoul’s various efforts to have citizens participate in the administration for “Desirable Urban Governance” in line with its status as being the world's No. 1 e-government, citizens’ e-government use is low, and their participation in administration shown is limited in the policy making process and institutional improvement relevant with Seoul City’s administration.

2. Most inaugurations are held on a large scale but only a small number of citizens are invited as they take place in a closed space. Therefore, lots of expenses and waste factors exist, and direct communication with many citizens is impossible: Inaugurations are held on a large scale in all cities of the world, as well as in Seoul. As they are held in closed spaces where leading figures from all walks of life and some citizens are invited, the citizens participating in the inauguration are extremely limited, and many citizens are excluded from the ceremony. Also, waste factors have existed, due to event expenses including venue rental expenses, invitation cards, and commemorative inauguration performances.

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
1.The promotion of e-governance as a new concept to activate citizens’ participation: The city of Seoul promotes citizens’ participation through innovative methods as being the world’s No.1 e-city. Based on the city's information infrastructure and citizens’ high IT use (the Internet use ratio in Seoul: 81%). the online inauguration of Seoul's new mayor and “Won-soon’s Seoul Story”, which guarantee citizens access and potential participation, was implemented, and received immense interest and good responses by and from the citizens. Through these events, real time communication with citizens become possible, and Seoul's city administration information could be disclosed.
The online inauguration was held via live Internet broadcasting from 11:00 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. on Nov. 16, 2011. The ceremony was carried out by the mayor for the citizens online. It included the showing of the mayor’s office, the pledge of allegiance, the inauguration speech, and real time answering of citizen’s questions through SNS (Social Network Service). The number of simultaneous connectors for the Internet broadcast reached 75,000, and more than 5,000 citizens’ opinions were received through SNS. Participation in the event was active through online and mobile devices and about 8,000 people watched the inauguration through their mobile devices.
※ The number of cumulative video playback was 1,226,602 as of Dec. 9, 2011

2.City administration for citizens and realization of administration impressed citizens: The online event offered an opportunity for most Seoul citizens like workers, homemakers, students, small-sized business merchants, etc to view the ceremony. Indeed, the inauguration’s status was enhanced, as it became a venue to enjoy the pleasure and honor of the inauguration together with all of the citizens of Seoul.
Most citizens were deeply impressed with the city's consideration towards its citizens, saying that they participated in the inauguration for the first time ever. They were also greatly pleased with the fact that a specific budget was not spent on the inauguration. The inauguration was an event that offered deep impressions to the citizens amidst citizens’ huge interest, participation, and encouragement to the extent that it ranked No. 1 in real time RTs (retweets).

“Won-soon’s Seoul Story” also made its debut on the Internet on Nov. 24. It was run with three parts, “News, Story, and Neighbors.” "The News" introduces the cream of cultural information and other information to share and is centered on the city of Seoul's weekly administration news. "The Story" introduces citizens’ opinions through the various online channels including SNS, and the city's suggestion corner for administration, and answers to the citizens’ questions. "The Neighbors" is the time to talk with Mayor Park by inviting Seoul citizens or hard working public officials. “Won soon's Seoul Story” has been broadcast three times so far. Instantaneous and simultaneous there were 3,000 connections, cumulative listeners were approximately 20,000, and citizens’ participation was about 500. Citizens can actively participate in Seoul’s administration online via Mayor Park’s presiding over the program. Also, the administration prepared an arena for communication, where complex and various policy information can be easily understood.

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
The online inauguration and “Won soon’s Seoul Story” was proposed by Park Won-soon, the Mayor of Seoul. They were created by the strong commitment of Mayor Park, who wants to actively respond to temporal requests, such as openness, sharing, and participation through Web 2.0, and to meet citizens in a new method on the occasion of the inauguration of the 35th Mayor of Seoul.
The online inauguration was an unprecedented event in the world. In this regard, the quick decision-making and teamwork by various departments were necessary. Centered on the Digitalization Planning Group, which was in charge of the overall supervision of the inauguration, information security, infrastructure, and Website establishment and its operation, the following groups planned the online inauguration: the Communication Planning Officer with citizens operating the live Internet broadcast and SNS, a traffic broadcasting station taking charge of the professional shooting, the Administration Bureau for the mayor’s office reorganization and props for the broadcasting, and the mayor’s secretaries who know the mayor’s dispositions and policy directions the most.
The preparation was conducted quickly and clearly through to the mayor. Not only support by the city of Seoul, but also voluntary support from private portal sites was provided for the online inauguration. Korea’s large portal sites including Naver, Daum, Nate, Paran, KT, and various multimedia sites and media transmitted the live Internet broadcasting so that more citizens could view and share in the event.
As for “Won soon’s Seoul Story”, the Secretary’s Office carried out the broadcasting organization including the data collection, selection and decision of weekly broadcasting topics and details, and the pre-broadcasting of planning meetings. Also, the Communication Planning Office along with citizens took charge of broadcasting operation like scenario shooting and transmission, transmission media management, and the diffusion of SNS. The Digitalization Planning Group took charge of live broadcasting on the mayor's office homepage. After the third broadcasting, the mayor and staff members visited various sites or departments that were closely related with citizens’ interests including the Traffic Information Center, the Childcare Officer’s Office, traditional markets, and welfare centers out of the mayor’s office and then carried out real time communication with citizens. To do all of this, various types of cooperation had to be conducted with the relevant departments of the city of Seoul.

(a) Strategies

 Describe how and when the initiative was implemented by answering these questions
 a.      What were the strategies used to implement the initiative? In no more than 500 words, provide a summary of the main objectives and strategies of the initiative, how they were established and by whom.
The strategy applied to the online inauguration was simple: the mayor is a citizen. There can be no inauguration that excluded the citizens, since a citizen is the mayor. If citizens want to take part in the inauguration, and citizens’ opinions need to be quickly delivered to the city administration, the proper conditions should be prepared. The inauguration was held online and it omitted authoritative and formal events. It was an open event, in which anyone could participate, irrelevant of their actual location. The strategy was also centered on a simple and small-budgeted event.
As such, the online inauguration’s purpose and strategy were established by the Digitalization Planning Group, based on the mayor’s mindset, and was implemented through consultation with the relevant departments using the existing infrastructure and quite a small budget.
A plan for the live online broadcasting of the city's administration briefing for “Won-soon’s Seoul Story” was established in Nov. 2011 for conducting real time communication with the citizens, and a small organization and budget were used for the existing system without there being any additional expenses at the initial stages. Mayor Park had the intention to communicate with citizens in real time, disclose the information on city administration, and guarantee citizens’ participation through the online space, where anyone could simultaneously take part in the live Internet broadcasting.
As the online broadcasting hosted by Mayor Park answered citizens’ questions on policies, introduced stories, and shared Seoul’s various news. As such, he conducted the broadcast by giving it a comfortable and friendly neighbor feeling instead of sounding authoritarian and formal.

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
According to the Mayor of Seoul's suggestion the online inauguration began through a two-page plan on October 30, 2011. At first, it was just to post inauguration VOD on the homepage, and to let the citizens watch it. However, on Oct. 31, 2011, the Internet broadcast was planned through a planning meeting to form a sense of community, that is, that citizens would be able to participate in the inauguration. Thus, it was decided that the mayor alone would preside over the inauguration on Nov. 3, 2011.
Towards this end, several meetings were held in a debate mode, in which the mayor presided over. After the initial stage of composition was completed, the following detailed plans were implemented: Establishment of the inauguration homepage, live Internet broadcasting infrastructure, transmission of live Internet broadcasting, broadcast filming, citizens’ participation through SNS, information security, live broadcast planning and scenario production, reorganization of the mayor’s office, and the preparation of props for the broadcasting.
※ The inauguration homepage was operated for five days from Nov. 14 to Nov. 18, and the inauguration was held via live broadcast at 11:00 a.m. on Nov. 16 (Wed).
“Won-soon’s Seoul Story” showed the concern and agony of Won-soon as the mayor regarding the city of Seoul’s administration through live Internet TV broadcasting in his office on Nov. 24 and 30. The mayor presided over the live broadcasting by visiting the Seoul Traffic Information Center and by playing the role of being the citizens’ guide in accordance to the intention of the broadcast, for example, vivid listening to the citizens at various worksites in everyday life, on Dec. 9.

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
As many citizens watched the live online inauguration during the fixed time slot, there was a limitation in using the Internet broadcasting infrastructure operated by the city, due to huge traffic in the city's video service system. However, as several private portal sites supported the Internet broadcasting voluntarily, the Internet users could be dispersed, and the PR and citizens’ participation effects became maximized for a successful hosting of the inauguration. The world’s first online inauguration became possible, as Seoul City’s brand and unique content were combined, based on this infrastructure.
In "Won-soon’s Seoul Story" using only one medium broadcasting buffering occurred, due to simultaneous numerous hits by Internet users. Fortunately, the suspension of the basic service did not take place, thanks to immediate use of an alternative system.
In the first broadcasting of “Won-soon’s Seoul Story,” an incident of broadcasting suspension for about 10 minutes occurred, due to the inferiority of sound cards in general notebook PCs that were used to simplify the transmission system. In the second broadcasting, the stabilization of broadcasting was brought about, thanks to the preparation of a live-only broadcasting system, after the incident that occurred in the first broadcasting.
Although, the number of listeners declined, due to slightly diminishing popularity of the broadcast, after the first round of broadcasting, we strove to secure listeners through special broadcasting planning, such as broadcasting topic selection (traffic, welfare, environment, etc.) and diversifying the shooting venues in the program of “Won-soon’s Seoul Story”

(d) Use of Resources

 d.      What resources were used for the initiative and what were its key benefits? In no more than 500 words, specify what were the financial, technical and human resources’ costs associated with this initiative. Describe how resources were mobilized
The online inauguration was held with the private sector’s voluntary participation along with using the existing infrastructure and system of Seoul, without any additional expenses. There were no additional expenses for the online inauguration. The online inauguration site was established and operated through the maintenance/repair of the existing Seoul City homepage. Live broadcasting and transmission were carried out through Seoul City’s Internet broadcasting business. The filming crew of the Traffic Broadcasting was injected in terms of video filming. All in all, the event was conducted within the existing business scope of the city of Seoul.
Also, Korea’s large-scale portal sites, UCC sites, and Internet media voluntarily broadcast the inauguration, and thus, several hundred millions of won that would have been required to acquire a stable infrastructure was saved. The event was not unilaterally carried out by the public sector, but was a very significant event created together with the participation of many private companies and citizens, and is a case that has placed itself as a new model for communication with citizens.
“Won-soon’s Seoul Story” was implemented using existing Seoul City’s Internet TV system and personnel in a frugal way without creating any additional expenses. Within Seoul City's Internet TV show, “Live Seoul,” a separate program was prepared and transmitted. Through the temporary Website on mayor’s office (, Afreeca TV ( wonsoontv), and Olleh Onair ( broadcasting channels, the program was broadcast live. The opportunities for participation by the private sector have been expanded by offering replay using Podcast and sharing live broadcast information through the Internet broadcasting media and media companies. During live broadcasting, communication with the Mayor of Seoul is possible by using a real time chat window of Afreeca TV, the temporary Website on mayor’s office, and Olleh Onair broadcasting channel's social comment service.

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
As digital technology’s rapid change in our society promotes citizens’ participation in city administration, the government is shifting from a supply-centered to consumer-centered governance. Each government agency is carrying out new government services, based on the Web 2.0 technology that is then combined with culture, such as sharing Seoul City policies, opening of policy making processes and participating in such a processes. In this aspect, the world’s first online inauguration by Seoul City and “Won-soon’s Seoul Story” can be significant in that a new chapter has been written in promoting citizens’ participation in the public sector’s policy decision making powers.
Although the online inauguration was propelled as an event at first, it was successfully held in line with citizens’ huge interest and encouragement. In this regard, it is being benchmarked as a model case by other agencies as a true citizen participatory event, while minimizing the budget. And, Seoul is trying to drive this type of event in an instructional direction.
Looking into benchmarking cases, the Sejong City Mayor’s Inauguration Preparation Committee, which will be launched next year, is benchmarking the Mayor of Seoul’s online inauguration, and inquiries are surging from various local governments and agencies. Our city is also actively adopting live Internet broadcasting and online citizen participation for various events, in which the citizens participate. The typical case for this can be seen in “Won-soon’s Seoul Story.” An Open Forum of Seoul Citizens that was held on Dec. 13 was implemented by adopting the configuration of the online inauguration. Citizens’ opinions online collection windows, such as SNS for all the main projects are planned to be supported.
Like how Mayor Park showed his office in the inauguration, various devices are planned to be prepared so that Seoul’s administration policies can be disclosed to Seoul citizens and shared with them.

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?
Cyber space is the participatory space that connects with e-governance. Desirable city governance should be carried out, based on citizens’ participation in the policy circulation process, and this type of process can be shaped together with the government.
The key to the success of the online inauguration is that the true heart of Seoul City for citizens was conveyed to them. The basic purpose of the online inauguration was derived from the new mayor’s mindset to save the taxes collected from citizens and from the belief that, "citizens are the mayor." Citizens, whose opinions were converged through SNS, were deeply impressed by the event as it was vested with simplicity and truthfulness, and they said that they could feel the future vision of Seoul policies.
The online inauguration drew citizen’s interest and understanding of the city's policies by narrowing the gap between the mayor and citizens through the mayor’s listening to citizens’ opinions and giving them frank answers by preparing an online arena to communicate via real time, beyond temporal and spatial limits and in place of just offering uniform administration policy information.
“Won-soon’s Seoul Story” received positive assessment from online listeners. It did so by pursuing viewer-friendly broadcasting, through which anyone can present opinions and participate in the program. It was in line with citizens’ needs and avoided a formal framework. Through the online inauguration and “Won-soon’s Seoul Story”, the lesson that truthfulness in communicating with citizens, comfort not bound in formality, and the active use of new media can positively change the relations between public agencies and citizens and that this type of virtuous cycle can be realized, has been learned.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Seoul Metropolitan Government
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Sunyoung Jung
Title:   Communication Coordinator  
Telephone/ Fax:   82 2 6361 3116 / 82 2 3707 9189
Institution's / Project's Website:
Address:   Information Planning Division, Seoul Metropolitan Government, Deoksugung-gil 15, Jung-gu
Postal Code:   100739
City:   Seoul

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