Ten thoughts on getting social

In advance of my session at the CIPR North conference in Leeds tomorrow, I thought now would be a good time to repost my top ten tips for social media.

This first appeared in corpcomms magazine. Hope it’s useful.

Ross Wigham, service manager for communications at Northumberland County Council, offers up some advice on using social media to promote local, public services.

1. Try to think customer not corporate. This sounds pretty obvious doesn’t it but for too long we were focusing on what the council wanted to tell people, rather than thinking about the conversations that we should be having. Social media for councils and the whole public sector is a real game changer when it comes to engagement and that starting point should be thinking about the stuff residents want to talk to us about. It’s meant to be a conversation, so make sure you’re listening as well as talking. From a population of 300,000 we’ve now got more than 26,000 people signed up to our networks, despite being a predominantly rural area. Continue reading

Making your council magazine work in the new world

This is repost of a piece I did for the fantastic comms2point0 (@comms2point0) blog that I hope some of the public sector readers will be interested in. It’s worth saying again that anyone working in public sector PR needs to be reading that blog every day because it will help, inspire and let you steal perfectly good ideas.

Council magazines may seem like a strange topic for discussion given the amount of time and effort we now spend on social media (see my previous post) but I just wonder if we’re now discarding a tool that’s still got so much to offer in the internet age.

Whatever the format, people still love reading stories that build a narrative about where they live and what interests them.

Given that local authority mags now seem to be the communications equivalent of the bowler hat I’d like to reassess what they can provide, particularly in tandem with social networks. Continue reading