A powerful image can make a point and make you stop and look. In years gone by, image libraries were maintained by most councils. As the cuts bit they often went. Now the Local Government Association has a solution for the sector.Read More
The #OurDay initiative aims to paint a picture of what local government does. And with key decisions on spending coming up there's never been a better reason to get involved. And there are tools to help you, too.
On Wednesday, councils across the country will be taking part in #OurDay, the fourth annual tweetathon to highlight the huge range of work that goes on all day, every day in local government. Last year, over 8,000 accounts tweeted 16,500 posts to more than three million people in 24 hours – and with #OurDay 2015 taking place just one week before the Chancellor’s Spending Review, we want this year’s event to be even bigger. We need to make sure that people know just how much local government does, making people’s lives better through everything from day-to-day tasks right up to life-changing interventions.
'The future is already here,' one commentator once said. 'It's just unevenly distributed.' But in a challenging post about the digital divide one view is that surely much of the debate is now over?
I turn on the news this morning to hear that HMRC are going to be closing 137 offices and opening new regional centres.
How did I react to that? I said 'oh ok,' to myself and carried on eating my breakfast.
How did the BBC react? With an interview posing a number of questions, followed by the big hitter – but what about all those older people that can’t use the internet?
Seriously, can we all just get a grip?
We've worked with the Local Government Association on improving social media skills for local government. They're available online. We think you'll like them.
by Dan Slee
One of the great things about technology is a relentless pace of change.
If you're at the bow wave you are always looking ever forward anticipating the next steps.
It would be a huge mistake to think that everyone is at the same place.
We've worked with the Local Government Association to produce guidance on how to use social media more effectively. There's advice for organisations, elected members and staff. It's transferrable stuff and it's brilliant...
For many social media is now an everyday part of their lives; something as natural as a phone call or a face-to-face conversation. Twitter, Facebook and the many other digital tools available are now employed to conduct a plethora of tasks: from complaining to utility companies to sharing ideas; from ordering shopping to building networks.
In a set period before an election tight restrictions come into force on what comms teams in the public sector can and can't do. The Local Government Association have written a rather fab guide from a local government perspective. Follow the link in the blog to the download.
The countdown for local and national elections has started and communications teams in councils around the country are working out what this means for them. In response to requests for guidance, we recently produced a short guide to the publicity restrictions during the run-up to an election. Nearly 5,000 downloads later, even I’ve been surprised by the level of interest.
The term ‘purdah’ has come into popular use in both central and local government to describe the time immediately before elections and referendums when, amongst other things, particular care must be taken in the way communications teams operate.
Almost two million people in the UK recieve some kind of state-funded care. There are some big changes coming down the track. One of the big comms challenges facing the public sector is to help communicate that. To help this, we've been going back to our local government roots. We're working with IEWM in the West Midlands. Can you help with our survey?
by Dan Slee
First, imagine your Dad has Alzheimers and relies on people coming in every day to help him.
You rely on the help but maybe you've heard there may be changes to what the council can do because of a change in the law.
Where would you go for advice? To a council website? Or would you telephone a voluntary group? Or would you ask a question on social media?
When I left local government six months ago I said that this was to do more in local government and the public sector.
by Dan Slee
Every week being full-time on comms2point0 has been quite literally an adventure. One of the adventures was to write social media guidance for part of the public sector that is struggling with it. Health and Wellbeing Boards are where the NHS, charities and councils come together to make billions of pounds of spending decisions.
We're hugely excited to be helping to draw-up new guidelines to help Councillors use social media better. We'd love it if you can help us too.
by Dan Slee
We think social media has the power to transform how organisations listen to and communicate with people.
We think that local government has the power to improve people's lives for the good.
We think social media can build a bridge between the elected members and the people they serve.
That's why we are hugely pleased to be asked to work with the Local Government Association (LGA) improve the guidance it gives not just to councils but to councillors as well.
Firstly, we'll be drawing-up a short off-the-shelf social media policy.
Secondly, we'll help update the seminal 2010 publication Connected Councillor. This document which has stood the test of time but now needs updating.
We'd like your help to shape the guidance that will help thousands of.elected members use digital channels to serve those who live and work in their area.
We'll be working with partners on this but to give us your views on social media use and how we can support, we'd love it if you can complete our survey here:
The LGA is the national voice of local government. It works with councils to support, promote and improve local government.
A discussion took place on Twitter shaped by predictions of worse to come for local government. But should we be downcast? Or fight back? Here the director of comms at the LGA urges for the fightback.
Local government is doing some remarkable things. If any major business continued to deliver services against a budget reduction of 40 per cent it would be rightly lauded as heroic.
Well, that’s exactly what local government has done.
At the same time, our reputation remains high and we are trusted by our residents to do the right thing. However, the scale of the financial challenges often means that we, in local government, are never able to pause for a moment to reflect on the scale of our achievements.
We've been working with the Local Government Association. We're helping them to draw up some social media guidelines to help a vital body use social media better. We'd love it if you'd take a quick look at this post and tell us what you think in this survey here.
by Dan Slee
There’s a new network of key bodies across England that work to improve the health and wellbeing of their local residents and reduce health inequalities.
Known as ‘health and wellbeing boards’, they bring together the local council, clinical commissioning group, Healthwatch and other key local players in a genuine partnership and they do a really important job.
Just recently, one comms2point0 post asked us all to stop navel gazing and look to the stars instead. As part of this the writer cautioned readers to be wary of any new 'trust' campaign and the Building Trust campaign in particular. One of the authors of that report now responds by arguing that trust is perhaps one of the most important assets we have got to get us to the stars.
by Neil Wholey
Steve Chu in his comms2point0 post here has set a challenge which I totally agree with that we must “make the case for communications to be at the centre of our organisations’ thinking”. One of Steve’s points is my number one priority to “show that communications can be a frontline resource, either by reducing the costs of service provision, improving frontline efficiency, or targeting declining resources more effectively... prove your £20,000 campaign has saved your organisation £1 million.”
How can you seek to influence debate on a national level? A campaign by the Local Government Assoiciation has done just that at a time when cuts totalling 43 per cent will be coming down the track. Through a video and other collatoral the phrase 'rewiring' has entered the vocabulary.
For those working in the public sector, funding has been the dominant issue for the last few years and for local government this has been more acutely felt than most. By the end of this parliament local government will have seen cuts totalling 43 per cent.
As social media week looms, the Local Government Association - the LGA - have posed a few questions. They want local government to get more social. During the week and maybe in the future too. Care to join in...?
Over the last few weeks the LGA’s Communications team has been putting its collective head together on how we could use Social Media Week to further stimulate the use of social media by councillors, council officers and official council accounts.
Our thinking was that if local government made enough noise about all the great stuff being achieved by embracing the channel, the collective voice would prove powerfully persuasive to opponents, sceptics and the uninitiated.
We are keen to demonstrate through practical examples from the sector that using social media in a coordinated and sensible way can help enhance the reputation of local government, improve engagement with different elements of the community and drive efficiency.