My musings on what we'd like to see for Social Media Week

Some of you may have seen that in the #localgov gets social group, Sian Morgan and I are asking for council staff and councillors to let us know if they were interested in supporting regional events during Social Media Week. If you haven’t seen it, please join the group and start having your say.

I thought I would set out further what our vision is for the week so you have an idea how much (or how little) we are expecting people to do.

We are aiming not to be overly prescriptive in what we would deem an “event” to be. Perhaps you’ve been inspired by Teacamp or Brewcamp and want to put the world to rights over a cup of tea and slice of cake; you’ve just had a go at doing something on Facebook and you want to talk to some senior staff about doing more of it; or perhaps you shudder at the mere mention of Twitter and want someone to go through the pros and cons (and not bombard you with tutorials).

We want to see anything and everything, big and small, formal/informal, face-to-face, online or even picking up the phone and chatting to someone. All we want is for you to bear in mind the aims of:

  • debunking myths around the use of social media
  • advocating its use as an engagement tool for local leaders to engage with their peers and communities
  • demonstrating the benefits of empowering staff at all levels across the council to employ social media within their role

Seek out good examples that we can all shout from the rooftops about and identify individuals that need help/advice/persuasion/cake. Be brave in discussing the tricky questions and debating with the cynics (whilst respecting those of differing opinions).

We want the conversation about the use of social media in local government to move beyond the ifs and whys and why nots. We have now reached a point where there is a critical mass of local government staff, leaders and councillors who recognise the democratising power of social media engagement. By having a collective voice and a body of evidence that proves the value of embracing social media (reputation, engagement and efficiency for example) we will be able to support those who face barriers in using it effectively and also individuals who are still nervous and need some reassurance.

As people let us know of their interest we will be populating a Google map so you can see what is happening in your area, get involved or add your own event.

If you do have any ideas or questions don’t hesitate to get in touch via Knowledge Hub, twitter, email or phone.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

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James Baker 7 Years Ago
This all sounds fantastic Michelle! Just thought I chuck in a couple of my own suggestions too!! In my expereience Teacamps or Breakfast clubs (out of the office but obviously somewhere with wifi!) where people can discuss their fears, concerns and have their biggest myths busted are really succesful and great places to start. For those who are really new to social media you could couple this with a way for everyone to get online and actually being a bit more hands on with setting up a Social Network account if they don't already have one. Helping people to understand where they can find more help, and how they can start putting the use of social media into daily working practices is also invaluable (I often take these resources for granted now!). This way everyone goes home with something that they can continue to nurture, develop and work on at their pace. I think that biggest challenges for the adoption of social media is down to cultural and technological barriers. A focus on the recent cabinet office guidance (which also offers reccomendations and solutions on how to overcome these barriers) might also be a really good discussion point for those who are already in tune with the channel shift towards social media. This can help highlight how individuals can proactively help to change culture and perceptions to the world of digital engagement by using social media innovatively. Although the guidance is a really consise and useful paper - I'm still unsure as to how many people (including IT, HR, Policy and Senior Management and Directors) are actually aware of its existence. Hope this helps! ;-)