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From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

Fixed by Facebook: How Social Media is Paving the Way to Fixing the Streets of New Orleans

Entered in Non-Profit


Simply put, the streets of New Orleans suck.

Why are the roads in such horrible condition? Obviously, the devastation of Hurricane Katrina played huge role. But sadly, there is a bigger factor. The 50 years of neglect by city officials, to properly plan for proper repairs. Asphalt filler can only do so much to prevent cars from falling into potholes deeper than the Grand Canyon.

Fed up with a local government that keeps putting the issue off, in May 2014, New Orleans developer Robert Lupo took matters into his own hands. After printing up bright red yard signs saying, "Fix My Street. I pay my taxes.", Lupo passed them out at a local civic meeting.

It didn't take long for the local news to spot one of these red beacons of social justice, and do a big story on them. The official Fix My Streets New Orleans campaign was launched soon after these stories aired.

How do fed up citizens let a city government know they want something done? How do average folks, band together, in order to rise up and let city leaders know that they want a long term street repair plan put in place?

Social media.

Strategy and Execution

Ask anyone in New Orleans about the condition of their street, and prepare yourself for an emotional tirade. In most cities, people relate by sharing stories of their sports teams, or the weather. In New Orleans, it's complaining about potholes.

For years, the city of New Orleans has neglected putting in the work to create a long term street repair plan because... bad streets conditions became part of the culture. Long story short, New Orleanians love to complain about the streets, but the city knows citizens won't ever do anything more than that.

Until Fix My Streets NOLA came along.

We simple asked social media users across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to share pictures, video, and stories of the potholes of New Orleans, tagging Fix My Streets, and using the #FixMyStreets hashtag.

Like throwing gas on a flaming pothole, pure emotion spilled out across local social media, leading to thousands of posts.

The simple strategy, keep the need for street repairs, and our citizens anger over the issue, topic A in social media & traditional media.

The thought process was basically this, embarrass city leaders by organizing an online protest through social media posts. By constantly working in local, topical humor & information, Fix My Streets NOLA was able to consistently be a hot topic in New Orleans.

Examples of success:

- Drew Brees Mentions Fix My Streets

- President Obama, stuck in a New Orleans Pothole.

- 700 Angry New Orleanians Show Up to Fix My Streets Town Hall

Ask people to picket city hall, and you'll be lucky to get one. It's hard to get people to physically jump into civic action these days.

But, EVERYONE has a smartphone. Why not ask them to wander into their front yard to snap a pic of that nasty pothole, and post it on social media?

We did... and it worked.


Launched in May of 2014, the simple goal of Fix My Streets NOLA was to get the attention of New Orleans City Leaders, and urge them to create a long-term plan for properly fixing the streets.

Thousands of angry residents posted pothole pictures across social media, igniting a blaze of media coverage.

For the first few months, the City was pretty silent. That is, until they couldn't ignore #FixMyStreets anymore. December 2014, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu "We heard you @FixMyStreets"

The social media PR blitz continued in 2015, as Fix My Streets sponsored the United States first ever "National Pothole Day". Again, social media played a huge part in our efforts. A few weeks after getting every New Orleans media outlet to cover our "pothole press conference", the epic pothole where it took place, was actually repaired.

In December 2015, after 18 months of pestering, the city finally caved to the pressure. Mayor Mitch Landrieu announces the Fix My Streets Financing Working Group, tasked with coming up with a way to pay for long term street repairs.

Now, in 2016, Fix My Streets is working with the city of New Orleans, in order to keep them on track building a future full of fixed streets.


Video for Fixed by Facebook: How Social Media is Paving the Way to Fixing the Streets of New Orleans

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Fix My Streets New Orleans