Pets: the secret weapon of housing associations on Facebook

Housing associations on Facebook often have a tough time engaging residents. We work with comms pros who manage Facebook pages that are either: • A negative space where people moan about the organisation’s shortcomings • An absolute ghost town, where you struggle to get a single like or comment off anyone, not even a colleague AsContinue reading “Pets: the secret weapon of housing associations on Facebook”

Powerful real-life storytelling on Facebook is content of the week

Storytelling on Facebook is one of the most effective skills you can have in your comms bag of talents. And I’m getting my best Miley Cyrus singing ready to tell you that our content of the week came in like a Wrekin ball….. Well a Telford and Wrekin Council ball, to be exact. I couldContinue reading “Powerful real-life storytelling on Facebook is content of the week”

Cameo celebrities: endorsement not-for-profit brands can afford

Getting a celebrity to promote your brand has long been a desirable but costly way to get your audience’s attention. Some charities could rely on a patron who believed in their cause, but often celebrities have wanted tens of thousands of pounds for an endorsement. But for most not-for-profit brands, it’s been not just outContinue reading “Cameo celebrities: endorsement not-for-profit brands can afford”

My advice for a career in communications

I’m sharing some advice for a career in communications as part of the second #CommsCreative challenge: to blog useful tips for other communicators (read more about the challenge here). I’m now old enough to have enough bags of experience to fill all of Louis Vuitton’s shops. I started as a press officer, took on more generalContinue reading “My advice for a career in communications”

Dealing with negative social media comments – dos and don’ts

The subject of dealing with negative social media comments crops up in almost every social media training course I run, so I thought I’d share my simple dos and don’ts to make things easier. So, this is how to handle unfavourable posts people might tweet your organisation, leave on their Facebook page, or any socialContinue reading “Dealing with negative social media comments – dos and don’ts”

Posting text and video bilingually to Facebook and YouTube

Posting text and video bilingually to social media sites is possible, but not simple! This is a practical post on posting to social media for audiences that speak more than one language. I work with many organisations in Wales that post bilingually, and I thought this may be helpful. It’s just tips from my own trial andContinue reading “Posting text and video bilingually to Facebook and YouTube”

Is your fear stopping your social media comms from saying anything?

Communicators often confide in me that they don’t really like using Facebook (and other social media) for their organisations because people will probably post snarky things in the comments section of each post. Especially if they’re communicating potentially controversial work. The general gist of what I hear is this: ‘If we talk about this, we’ll haveContinue reading “Is your fear stopping your social media comms from saying anything?”

The most important social media measure? The ‘ex-haters’ number.

I’ve been developing a course on social media evaluation, and one metric stands out to me as most important. I call it the ‘ex-haters story’: the number of people you’ve won-around. In this post I outline: What the ex-hater metric is; Why it’s one of the most important measures; and how to make your ex-hater figuresContinue reading “The most important social media measure? The ‘ex-haters’ number.”

Standing up for the skills of the expert communicator

Have you ever wandered over to your head of finance and told them how they should interpret the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill of 2014-15? No? Funny how comms people often find colleagues from other professional disciplines advise us about comms subjects of which they have little knowledge or experience. Knowing how to tweet doesContinue reading “Standing up for the skills of the expert communicator”

Just how social is your social media?

Most are not serial killers – in fact psychopaths are more likely to find their way into politics, boardrooms or media organisations than be jailed for murder.” Will Black In this post, I want to show how some of the behaviours that have become standard or accepted in the world of social media communications, share qualitiesContinue reading “Just how social is your social media?”

Social media flow chart for comms pros

* 09/01/21 Social media flow chart – updated for 2021! When I first posted this chart 7 years ago (and more than 52,000 downloads ago!), I had no idea how popular it would be. People have sent me tweets showing photos of it pinned on office walls, and still people regularly tell me it’s beContinue reading “Social media flow chart for comms pros”

How to respond when rumours start to spread on Facebook

‘Rumour Cascades‘, a  joint study from Stanford University and Facebook, provides some fascinating insights that can serve as advice for public bodies on halting the spread of misinformation. This was first published on the Guardian website in mid May. A new study, jointly conducted by Facebook and Stanford University, has shed new light on how rumours spread on theContinue reading “How to respond when rumours start to spread on Facebook”

Facebook: 10 reasons why councils should embrace it as a tool

Last month, Facebook had its tenth birthday and I wrote a piece for the Guardian on council use of the platform.  You can read the original article on the Guardian website. Facebook: 10 reasons why councils should embrace it as a tool http://t.co/jkDVdRryrl — GuardianLocal (@Guardian_local) February 13, 2014 Councils can get good use fromContinue reading “Facebook: 10 reasons why councils should embrace it as a tool”

Twitter and Facebook to the rescue during heavy snow

Lots of councils experience just how important social media is when the weather gets extreme. A week or so ago, Monmouthshire people received and shared timely, useful information, chat and photos during a snowy period. I’ve been really impressed by how effective and helpful the network of Monmouthshire people – council employees, businesses and residentsContinue reading “Twitter and Facebook to the rescue during heavy snow”

Lessons in democracy and social media from 112 fifteen-year-olds

This month, our elections team in Monmouthshire Council asked me along to Chepstow Comprehensive to talk to students about how people can get involved in community life using social media. This is a post about what this group of young people told me about how they use social media. A day of democracy in theContinue reading “Lessons in democracy and social media from 112 fifteen-year-olds”

How to do Facebook REALLY well in local government (part two)

A year ago in 2011, I blogged about an inspiring guy I work with, 20 year-old youth worker Dan Davies, and how he uses Facebook for young people in Monmouthshire. I had a catch up with him this week and found out about more cool ways of engaging young people using Facebook and thought I shareContinue reading “How to do Facebook REALLY well in local government (part two)”

Making mistakes and giving staff access to social media

Some very clever people I’ve learned lots from over the past few years have let me publish guest posts on their blogs. They are all about social media and based on my experiences so I thought I’d group them here. They all touch on the following subjects: giving staff access to social media what thatContinue reading “Making mistakes and giving staff access to social media”

How to do Facebook REALLY well in local government (part one)

[Photo by Andalib.] Here’s a case study from 2011 about how Monmouthshire County Council‘s youth service has used Facebook to revitalise the way it communicates with kids and teenagers. Profile URL: https://www.facebook.com/MonYouth Likes: 1,013 Established: Around April 2010 Moderated by: Dan Davies of Monmouthshire County Council’s youth service   The reason it’s fantastic is because it’s being used notContinue reading “How to do Facebook REALLY well in local government (part one)”