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'Follow' The Money: State Treasury Twitter Account Entertains, Informs

HARRISBURG (KDKA) -- Pennsylvania State Treasurer Joe Torsella has been on Twitter for quite some time, eight years to be exact, but last month the Pennsylvania Treasury joined the website and its unique style is gaining in popularity.

    Whether it's tweeting GIFs of skeletons or graphics encouraging Pennsylvanians to celebrate the Fourth of July "responsibily", the account has made its mission to educate the populace on what the Treasury does.

    It's more than just their Twitter bio that reads "we handle all of the money."

    The account frequently posts a link to the Pennsylvania Treasury's Transparency Portal, a site where Pa. residents can see where state funds are being spent.

    "Treasurer Joe Torsella has made modernizing Pennsylvania Treasury's digital presence a priority," said Mike Connolly, the Deputy State Treasurer for Communications. "In his first few weeks, he made the balance of Pennsylvania's General Fund available on the Treasury's website for the first time ever. He created the global award-winning Transparency Portal, which allows Pennsylvanians to track how state dollars are spent in real-time. He launched a new unclaimed property search page, solely dedicated to the rightful return of lost or unclaimed military decorations for veterans or their families."

    Along with giving their growing audience a place to see where the state budget is allocated, they are also promoting ways Pennsylvanians can better their financial literacy.

The approach is unconventional, but according to Connolly, that's all part of the plan.

"Treasury programs have a lot to offer Pennsylvanians, and we wanted to try some new ways to engage with folks that people don't normally see from a state government agency," he said. "Pennsylvania Treasury's programs are for all Pennsylvanians, no matter what they're into — sports, dog memes, Netflix shows. With this account, we're hoping to break through the noise and connect more with the people we serve.

Of course, it just wouldn't be a popular Twitter account without dog memes.

    "The response we've received so far has been overwhelmingly positive," Connolly added. "Last week, our website, where people can read more about Treasurer Torsella's work and the programs Treasury administers, has gotten five times more traffic from Twitter than it normally does on any given week."

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