Interview: six social media ‘dos and don’ts’ and the role of the social media manager

Digital agency Coup Media asked to interview me this month for their blog – they’re doing very cool things so I was honoured to chat about how I work with digital communications. They’ve let me re-post it here – in this chat I talk a bit about my job and give six social media ‘dosContinue reading “Interview: six social media ‘dos and don’ts’ and the role of the social media manager”

YouTubing a budget consultation and how a great blogger improved our work

Here’s a post about using video to communicate a budget consultation. A bit of experimentation and help from all sorts of people have helped us get better. Hopefully next year we’ll improve again thanks to feedback from this year. [Photo by Rego – d4u.hu]

A message to the secret council officer

I just came across a great piece in the Guardian from an anonymous council officer who talks about how overly cautious social media policies do more harm than good for local government. Here are extracts but it’s worth reading it in full over at the Guardian website. When it comes to communications, local government knowsContinue reading “A message to the secret council officer”

Seven social media headlines of 2012 and what they teach us

Last week when the awesome Nick Atkin of Halton Housing and I talked to some clued-up housing sector professionals* we looked at social media in 2012 and what’s in store for next year. Here are just some of the social media stories from 2012 we looked at and what they teach us for 2013. 1.Continue reading “Seven social media headlines of 2012 and what they teach us”

All Wales public services internet and social media survey 2012

ParticipationCymru do great work to achieve better public engagement in Wales and I was fascinated to read the latest results on how public sector organisations here are using social media. There were an impressive 576 respondents of which 50% were from local government, 19% Third sector, 17% Welsh Government and 7% NHS and 6% otherContinue reading “All Wales public services internet and social media survey 2012”

Five things that good bloggers do

Blogging can sometimes be a bit of a daunting task. Sometimes it’s helpful to think of some the things good bloggers do so our posts are read a bit more or just to inspire us to write when we’re out of ideas. This blog post is based on a presentation I gave last night atContinue reading “Five things that good bloggers do”

Organisations need to learn how to party: why digital engagement needs to be more social

I work in digital communications. In the public sector. If there’s one obsession both disciplines share, it’s the quest for ‘engagement’. It’s often said about digital engagement that ‘we’ (organisations) need to go where people go. What that actually means to me isn’t ‘the people use Facebook so we’ll use Facebook and build a pageContinue reading “Organisations need to learn how to party: why digital engagement needs to be more social”

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)”

The future of Klout: how can we use online influence scorers like Klout and Kred?

I’m just going to come straight out with it: I’m pretty interested in online influence scoring tools like Klout and Peerindex. I think they might be useful to organisations and particularly the public sector in years to come. I understand and agree with lots of the points people make about these tools: people who thinkContinue reading “The future of Klout: how can we use online influence scorers like Klout and Kred?”

Influence, not ROI, matters for local government social media

On the whole, UK councils are doing a nice job of using social media – possibly we caught on early because we’re used to making the most of tools that don’t cost much.  ‘Fair play ‘ as we say here in Wales, we’re doing getting better at engaging. But there’s loads of room to improve.Continue reading “Influence, not ROI, matters for local government social media”

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”

ROI of social media in public service

I’ve noticed a bit of Twitter debate on what the return on investment (ROI) is for social media in the public sector. Unfortunately this isn’t a post with tips on measurement, I’m still learning good ways to evaluate and improve our work in social media and I’d love to hear what other organisations do. HereContinue reading “ROI of social media in public service”

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)”

Sometimes we fluff up

Today one of our council twitter accounts made the news for tweeting an inappropriate comment on a serious incident in one of our Monmouthshire towns. http://www.metro.co.uk/tech/871393-council-sorry-for-armed-siege-tourism-tweet We’re all pretty mortified. It was insensitive and the person who tweeted quickly realised it was not on and deleted it (we tend to advise not deleting but inContinue reading “Sometimes we fluff up”

Social media for social care: Monmouthshire foster carers support each other with Yammer

Our foster care team is always looking at ways to give foster carers information to support them and here’s summary of what we’ve done to shake up how foster carers talk to us (Monmouthshire council) and, more importantly, to each other. What we did At the beginning of the year I met the team toContinue reading “Social media for social care: Monmouthshire foster carers support each other with Yammer”

Social care recruiting using social media – how a council recruited a senior leader using YouTube

Today’s the deadline for social care professionals interested in the vacant post of Head of Children’s Services to apply for the post – hopefully those who go for job have a good idea about what to expect after watching potential colleagues and the previous Head of Children’s Services on YouTube. What did we do? SimonContinue reading “Social care recruiting using social media – how a council recruited a senior leader using YouTube”

Twitter: more than talking about your breakfast

There are still a load of people out there who dismiss social media sites like Twitter as being where young people LOL and ROFL and talk about their breakfast.   Janet Street Porter was taking pop at Twitter on a TV show last week and repeated lots of the same arguments we’ve probably all heardContinue reading “Twitter: more than talking about your breakfast”

Public sector people – do you want a place to talk social media?

Anyone who works in PR has probably come across unflattering assumptions that our job is to cover up bad stuff and pump out good news. We know though that we want to inform and engage, particularly in public sector PR. We work using our personal ethics, a commitment to be non-political, the CIPR code ofContinue reading “Public sector people – do you want a place to talk social media?”

Live Q&As – getting people talking to their council on Twitter

Here’s a summary of how/why we do our live Q&A Twitter session with cabinet members.  I would love any suggestions on how we can improve or comments of any kind really, the beauty of social media is being able to learn from you all. Councillor Twitter Q&As   The idea began last September when ourContinue reading “Live Q&As – getting people talking to their council on Twitter”

To follow or not to follow on Twitter? Are you part of a community or are you aloof?

One of the hundreds of things that are great about using social media is the capacity to build communities – it’s one of the useful elements I’ve found while managing a twitter account for a local authority.   An organisation has an opportunity to find out what people think about what it does, what interestsContinue reading “To follow or not to follow on Twitter? Are you part of a community or are you aloof?”