using pinterest in the public sector

Pinterest? That's for weddings, isn't it? Not entirely. One bright comms person is experimenting in the public sector.

by Karen Jeal

There are more than 500,000 businesses using Pinterest. So at Lambeth Council are we behind the times or ahead of the game? Well there’s only a handful of councils using it so we’ve added ourselves to that small list and started pinning.   

In the three years since Pinterest launched, there are more than 70 million people using it. Wow. That’s impressive.

In Pinterest there are boards. You pin things on the boards. People follow you or your boards. You can like things without attaching it to a board. In short it’s a virtual inspiration board. Those already ‘pinning’ will know that it's far more than that, but at Lambeth we’re just settling in.

We’ve started using it to influence outcomes, engage with our community and encourage more collaboration.  

Things you can recycle is one of our boards. The idea – to create a range of things showing residents what you can be recycled and how to reuse different objects. The long-term outcome of this is to increase recycling rates and reduce waste.

We recently ran a parks challenge where residents tell us what they want to see in their parks. Pinterest is a great way of doing this too. Adding things that inspire us or to pin things others are doing to create a virtual mood board of which direction we want our parks to go in.

We’ve a board for each of our priorities to really drill down to what they mean and how we can fulfil them. We’re using it influence too – a board named ‘People of the borough’ basically showcases everyone who has an association with Lambeth.

Take a look http://www.pinterest.com/lambethcouncil/ you’ll see it’s still in its early stages but it’s going to be a great tool for taking our digital channels to the next level.

Karen Jeal is digital officer at London Borough of Lambeth.