Digital & Social Media Challenges for Local Government

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Digital & Social Media Challenges for Local Government.
Presented at the Public Policy Exchange, 12th February 2014.

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Digital & Social Media Challenges for Local Government

  1. 1. Digital Challenges in Local Government Ben Matthews, FutureGov @benrmatthews
  2. 2. Badges!
  3. 3. 5 Digital Challenges 1. Being Human 2. Engaging with citizens 3. Rise of Mobile 4. Flood of information 5. Keeping up with
  4. 4. 1. Being Human
  5. 5. A Local Gov Exit Interview
  6. 6. Be Warm, Friendly, Human “A council’s web presence should not purely be a cold, clinical, homogeneous portal for paying council tax, parking fines and the like. It should be vibrant, approachable and engaging collection of spaces where citizens can interact with their local authority in a variety of ways.”
  7. 7. Manchester City Council
  8. 8. Manchester City Council
  9. 9. Communication & Transaction “Social media has transformed attitudes and expectations in relation to digital engagement and most councils have warmed to the idea of the web being a crucial channel for communication as well as transaction.”
  10. 10. Surrey Council
  11. 11. Surrey Council
  12. 12. Surrey on Twitter
  13. 13. Surrey on Twitter
  14. 14. Seek & Share Best Practice Every local authority is different – demographically, geographically and politically. There can be no “one-size fits all” approach. We’ve definitely got to be better at sharing and seeking best practice, especially as more and more organisations wake up to the huge advantages of being truly digital
  15. 15. Comms2Point0
  16. 16. Guardian Local Leaders
  17. 17. Knowledge Hub
  18. 18. 2. Engaging With Citizens
  19. 19. Involve Your Users Councils have the wonderful and rare luxury of being in the same place as the bulk of their website’s target audience. Enlist your citizens to help you improve your web presence. Constantly test with real users and make it easy for them to give you their feedback. Adapt, improve and then test again! This is especially crucial when designing for users with specific needs, such as those with disabilities, low literacy or limited experience of using the web.
  20. 20. Camden Digital Strategy
  21. 21. Digital Camden on Slideshare
  22. 22. Enable Through Constraints
  23. 23. Surfacing Comments
  24. 24. Open Up Your Organisation Local government holds some of the most valuable data going – data which could offer huge benefits to local businesses, citizens and service delivery. A lot of councils are talking about Data (Open, Big, Linked etc) but few truly understand it and even less are really doing it well. Open Knowledge Foundation has tips on getting started.
  25. 25. 4. The Rise of Mobile
  26. 26. Digital Grows as a Source for News
  27. 27. For Many, Mobile Means More News
  28. 28. Size of Social Media Networks
  29. 29. Facebook Overtakes Google for Referral Traffic
  30. 30. Top Facebook Publishers
  31. 31. Shift in Mobile Users - And Advertising Revenue
  32. 32. Facebook Adapting to be More News Focussed
  33. 33. Go Mobile It won’t be long before more of your website visitors are using mobile devices than PCs. If your web offering isn’t mobile friendly, that’s going to be a huge problem. Start thinking mobile now!
  34. 34. Responsive Design
  35. 35. Consult Your Analytics
  36. 36. 4. Flood of Information
  37. 37. Case Study: Maidstone Council Maidstone borough has suffered its worst flooding since 2000, with at least 36 families being evacuated On duty looking after our social media feeds, 18 hours a day from Christmas Day to warn and inform residents Facilitated a valuable conversation between council and residents to make people feel less isolated in a difficult situation
  38. 38. Maidstone Council Twitter
  39. 39. Sending Info Out Frequent updates and advice with information from the experts Highlighted the multi-agency response while covering our warning and informing responsibilities Worth telling people everything you’re doing. Virtually everything was retweeted, reassuring thousands about our response. When updates became less frequent, people were worried that they’d missed something. Made a point of informing residents about the latest information, even if those updates offered nothing new. Also important to remind people what wasn’t affected by flooding.
  40. 40. Twitter Updates
  41. 41. Bringing Information In Fed information into the Emergency Centre as it came up, monitoring search terms and hashtags to capture as much information as possible Identified through social media serious issues in two streets that they’d been unaware of, and were able to get help to both areas Able to suggest the deployment of Incident Liaison Officers to check issues as they arose, using residents to inform our flood response Some conversations inevitably needed to be taken offline, so liaised closely with contact centre and set up a special email address so residents could still be assured of a quick response to help them through
  42. 42. Facebook Updates
  43. 43. Results The rate of increase in followers on Facebook jumped ten-fold during the floods Added as many followers on Twitter in two days as normally would in a month Received a lot of positive feedback from residents, who shared updates with their own followers
  44. 44. 5. Keeping Up
  45. 45. Econsultancy.com
  46. 46. Comms2Point0
  47. 47. Buffer Blog
  48. 48. The Rabbitgram
  49. 49. Happy Inbox
  50. 50. Inbound.org
  51. 51. Thank You http://bit.ly/benspex ben@wearefuturegov.com benrmatthews.com @benrmatthews wearefuturegov.com @futuregov

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