Dave has an excellent and very positive summation of why councils should be embracing social media. He says:
Councils have a real opportunity to help develop the use of social media in a grographical area, to take a lead, say, in the definition and promotion of common tags to use so that locally generated content can be easily found and shared. The local authority could act as a convener, helping to draw people together online, including individual bloggers/photo sharers/etc, the local press, community groups and so on.
I couldn’t agree more and he has some clear and practical suggestions on how they could do it.
- Listen to existing online conversations – critics and friends.
- Acknowledge that the conversation is taking place and find ways to respond.
- Engage, start blogs for big projects, use YouTube, podcast meetings, put presentations on SlideShare etc.
- Use existing services.
- Don’t think this is just a comms team job.
- Don’t throw out your other communications tools.
All excellent pieces of advice don’t you think?
I’d add one further one.
- Think about whether your excuses for not doing it are valid or not.
There will be reasons why councils can or don’t want to take part in these sorts of activities and I’ve heard some pretty good excuses in my time. But often the given reasons are a bit of a smokescreen, or so it seems to me.
So council’s of South East London throw off your chains all you have to loose is your legacy systems…