Doncaster Council have been pulling up trees just recently. Creative, witty and using social media beautifully. A thread about a dumped speedboat was one of an array of good content. Here's the back story.
by Liam Smith
Phew…you write a few tweets about a dumped speedboat, and the next thing you know it’s being talked about on national radio.
Last week, many of you will have seen the tweets from @MyDoncaster that caused such a SPLASH (sorry), and ended up with a discussion on BBC Radio 5 Live as well asfantastic coverage on the Daily Mail online. Needless to say, the reaction has massively exceeded the expectations I had while writing them.
I am so pleased by the reception the tweets have had. The thread is the latest in a new series I have trialled called #TuesdayTales – telling stories about everyday council business in a fun and friendly way. Beyond the brilliant impact this will hopefully have for Doncaster Council’s reputation nationally, it is a massive victory in the seemingly never-ending battle to convince people that local government comms people should be able to take risks and have fun.
It is a great example that with good ideas and a supportive, experimental culture, you can achieve results that go beyond anything you’d anticipated. Before this week, I would have sounded mad trying to convince colleagues that a GIF of Duran Duran would lead to me being interviewed on 5 Live about fly-tipping, but this is what’s happened!
As Dan has pointed out in his very complimentary blog, using GIFS won’t work for everything – I like to think that our recent success has been about more than one gimmick or technique. During my few years at the council, we have increasingly pushed boundaries, experimented and extended our comfort zone inch by inch.
I’ve learned so many lessons from the last week, probably more than would be interesting to read. In Doncaster, we’re all looking forward to experimenting more in the future with this experience under our belt.
Liam Smith is communications officer for Doncaster Council.