One of the best things about the public sector is the willingness to share and learn from one another. None of us has a cartel on all of the good ideas so taking a look at what others are doing has always been an effective learning tactic.
by Simon Cromwell
I attended a really interesting social media workshop in London led by the always engaging Darren Caveney. Now as a comms person I’m a big believer of ‘working out loud’ to share what you are doing with others but it hit me that I don’t really practice what I preach. So sitting on the train home I thought it would be a good time to start. So what did I learn?
The workshop was 'Supercharging your social media' and it didn’t disappoint with excellent content drawn from Darren’s work across the public sector. From the importance of engaging content, timing and frequency, live reviews of social media accounts to actually crowd-sourcing a communications plan there was lots to take away. I’d thoroughly recommend it to anyone working in a communications role.
What I didn’t expect was to be so inspired by the work that is going on in local government. Coming from a 12 year career in central government, mostly DVLA, the mantra has always been what can local government learn from the big central departments and of course there are many examples of successful campaigns like the ‘Great’ campaign led by the Department of International Trade.
But from what I saw and heard during the workshop there is some real magic happening in our councils, cities, towns and boroughs.
Local government may not have the budgets, resources and manpower of their central government equivalents but they’re not using this as an excuse to deliver less. It’s the exact opposite, they’re using what they have, allied with innovative ideas in abundance, to produce engaging content to help the public they serve.
From gritting roads to tackling childhood obesity they are faced with a massive array of different messages. But they are consistently hitting the right note and doing it on a shoe string.
From Doncaster council’s gritter tracker and the use of a drone in Brent council to promote walking and running routes, through to a council chief executive challenging Jeremy Vine on his views on Council funding, local government’s use of low cost or no cost campaigns to educate and change behaviour is perhaps an untapped resource that I’ll certainly be looking to learn from in future.
So my key takeaway from Supercharged Social Media is that we in central government should be shopping locally for our inspiration when it comes to campaign planning and social media creativity as there is clearly lots to learn.
Simon Cromwell is IT strategy manager at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
*The next Supercharged Social Media workshop takes place in Bristol on 18 April – you can book here*
image via Tullio Saba