#OurDay is the annual 24-hour Twitterfon led by the Local Government Association to promote the many things local government delivers on our behalf. Here’s how and why you should get involved this year.
by Darren Caveney
I was a head of communications in local government for 10 years, and now much of my consultancy work and in-house training takes place in local government. Local government is very much a home game for me and it’s a subject close to my working heart.
This year I have been fortunate enough to work with almost 20 councils across the UK. It’s been a chance to see, first-hand, the great work which goes on.
Now I’m a fan of local government and what it does but not everyone is. We live in critical times where opinions are bandied around sometimes without thought or information.
Local government is probably victim of doing too much – the sheer breadth of services delivered isn’t always well known by all residents, who often struggle to recall much beyond bins and potholes.
One of the things I have noticed in my consultancy travels this year is that, in some quarters, there is something of a confidence problem in local government. It’s no surprise really, the sector has taken the biggest slug of public sector budget cuts and does seem to attract more than its fair share of criticism. If any of us are criticised often enough it has an impact.
And that’s why #OurDay, taking place on 21 November, is so important. It’s a high profile opportunity to remind people of the important jobs our councils do for us all.
Here are three things you can do now to make the most of #OurDay
1. Start with a bang
If you haven’t already, do sign up for the Thunderclap to help launch #OurDay with a real bang. You can do that here:
2. Great planning. It really can make the difference
Find the time to plan and create your #OurDay content. Those who run social media accounts know that this takes time to do well.
The best social media activity just looks really natural, with a great tone of voice and compelling content which grabs attention. Inevitably, though, time was found for the creative process within busy workloads.
And don’t let your hard work go to waste – create content which you can share after #OurDay to get an even bigger return for your time investment.
3. Tell your story
It’s sad but true but I have come to realise that a decent slab of residents’ default setting is the assumption that “the council” hasn’t done something. It’s unfair but we need to work with that knowledge and ensure that the council and its services tells it story and regularly.
The old adage - A good story, well told – still holds true. Show off the things which make your council most proud. It simply isn’t a time to sit back and not shout about your work.
Local government does amazing things. Every day. But we have to tell people – over and over and over. To help, to serve, to guide and to inform.
Finally, the Guardian are supporting #OurDay and are encouraging you to share your images, graphics and videos here to help reach an even wider audience.
Good luck to everyone taking part in #OurDay. I look forward to following the hashtag closely on 21 November.
And after the day carry on the good work and continue to tell your story each and every day - #OurDayEveryDay anyone?
Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and owner of creative communicators ltd
Image via Australian National Maritime Museum