in praise of the sausage fingered pr officer

Sometimes when things go wrong online it's best just to be honest...

I notice Wrexham Council has got online praise for holding its hands up to a mistake with humour and honesty.

They accidentally tweeted a decision from a key meeting and predictive text said that the 'Pathetic executive' had made a decision. They then apologised straight away and went on to blame their 'sausage fingers' and predictive text.

A Wrexham Council spokesman said:

“We hold our hands (and big sausage fingers) up - we fell victim to the dreaded predictive text. We noticed our error and the tweet was removed promptly.”

An example of good practice perhaps not bad? Well done them, I say… other councils and celebrities have blamed being hacked when a rogue tweet occurred.

Just goes to show good PR doesn’t - most of the time - mean spin but a good dose of honesty.

Our job is to communicate the message to as many people as possible. And if people respect honesty over a mistake they are more likely to take notice when we say our green spaces are cleaner, our theatre has an ‘exciting’ new band on or there is a chance for them to get involved in local democracy?

I like it when a corporate account has a human face, like @sweden choosing one person to use Twitter on behalf of the country for period of time, or our library service for example. We at Halton Borough  Council were there before Sweden.. I like to think they followed our lead.

The train companies are increasingly using this tactic. People find it harder to be rude to someone - most of the time - when it is a person rather than a corporate thing. On Tuesday the fact I had a humorous Twitter conversation over the stink of egg sandwiches in the carriage made me less likely to make a fuss over the fact the train was late leaving. I noticed people who did complain were quite polite.

Mark Allen is a press officer for Halton Borough Council.

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