The public sector has no obligation to be boring: tweets that show the funny side of gov

Apr 3, 2015

I’ve been lucky enough to work with people doing some pretty important, serious stuff.

Social work, policing, health, public finances, planning, housing, community safety: it’s all critical work.

I’ve noticed that lots of people in the most serious jobs are very comfortable expressing a sense of humour.  As my mum often says: “if you didn’t laugh, you’d cry”. Laughing is a stress reliever and coping mechanism.

But in a time when public sector budgets are cut and services are being reduced – is it ok to joke or have fun in our communications?

I think that, if you judge it correctly, it’s great to show a sense of humour.  When we’re trying to work more closely with communities to deliver services in new ways, getting to know each other and sharing a smile is really useful in building trust.

But also, being entertaining is actually an effective way of getting people to notice you and hear your message.

Here are some of my favourite examples of funny tweets I’ve seen, that show organisations taking SOCIAL media seriously by having some fun.

1. “Not a scam”
Quick! Burgle something so you can qualify.

2. Just, ouch
Possibly the only people laughing here are those who haven’t had this thought.

3. Is this their first tweet?
I can’t say any more about this tweet, it’s top secret.

4. Responding to a smartarse
I love how this kid thought the police wouldn’t take notice of him but he got busted.

5. Your dog is ashamed of you
Hands up, I was behind this campaign to get people to scoop up their dog’s poo. Maybe not LOLz but an attempt to be memorable with cute dogs who don’t dig their owner’s behaviour.

These were the ones that popped into my head – are there more good examples of public sector tweets?


  1. albfreeman

    Some great examples there! I totally agree that a bit of humour and personality is better than simply being businesslike.

    I’ve tried to take a light touch with some of our social media at Bradford Council recently. Examples include replying to someone unhappy about the big wheel being put up in the same week as strong winds:
    And replying to a Fleetwood Mac fan who was peeved at the hold music when calling us:
    In both of those cases, the other person saw the funny side too.

    • Helen Reynolds

      Great examples! Often, when there’s not much you can do to help, relating to the person and taking a light hearted approach can make the whole exchange more satisfying for everyone. I love how your tweets are polite and useful but have bags of personality. Cheers for sharing 🙂

  2. ThinkPurpose

    Social media is SOCIAL media, not and never ORGANISATION media. Organisations that forget this produce dire content nobody looks at. People allowed to be people are very good at being people, the examples you gave are brill demonstrations of this.


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Hel Reynolds

Hel Reynolds

Author of this post

Hel is social media trainer and boss of Comms Creatives. She has been working in comms since 2005, and has been brushing up her expertise in social media for brands since the good old days of MySpace. She also draws the Comms Cartoons, and is usually attached to a mug of coffee.

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