On 15 November, #OurDay, the LGA’s annual tweetathon is back for its fifth year, giving anyone who works or volunteers in public services the chance to share stories of what they do to improve the lives of residents and run their local services.
by David Holdstock
From bins being collected first thing in the morning right through to late evening calls to help older residents to bed, councils are working round the clock to deliver up to 800 services a day to serve their communities.
Councils are delivering hundreds of good services in the face of some of the most challenging times we have ever faced. It has never been more important for councils to highlight the breadth of services we deliver.
#OurDay first took place in 2012 and has grown in success each year with more and more councils, councillors and council officers taking part.
Last year, 8,541 people took part on Twitter, sending more than 18,754 tweets and reaching over 20 million people. The hashtag #OurDay was the most popular topic in the UK for almost the entire 24 hours.
This year, #OurDay falls just a week before the Government announces the Autumn Statement, promising to spark even more conversation about the importance of the work councils do across the country.
So how can you get involved? What does a day in the life of your council look like?
All you have to do is share your council story on Twitter using the hashtag #OurDay throughout Tuesday 15 November. To help you, here are some handy tips about how to boost your #OurDay impact online:
· Include a picture or video to bring your story to life and double the engagement of your tweet. Ask residents and council staff to get involved and tweet their pictures too.
· Talk about an event which is happening in your area on #OurDay itself – are you holding a family event in a library or running a new exercise scheme in a local park? This is a great way to let residents know what is on offer in their area.
· Reference people that the community are interested in. Is the Mayor opening a new school, are your councillors visiting a new housing development?
· Use additional hashtags to get people involved. What are you talking about? #devolution, #libraries, #health, #social work
· Start a conversation with residents, answer their questions, hold councillor surgeries via Skype.
· Run a competition, maybe using local facts and figures.
· And finally – re-tweet! Show support for your colleagues, residents and fellow public services by re-tweeting what they are doing.
This year, we’re doing a Thunderclap to get the day off to a great start. If you haven’t already, please sign up and update your Twitter profile with a Twibbon. We have also produced a toolkit to help your council get the most out of the day: www.local.gov.uk/our-day
David Holdstock is director of communications at the Local Government Association
Image via Flickr Creative Commons