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The use of social media to consult and engage with the public about development policy


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This brief presentation explores ways in which policymakers can use social media to engage and consult various publics about their programmes and research outcomes.

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The use of social media to consult and engage with the public about development policy

  1. 1. The use of social media to consult and engage with the public about development policy Department for International Development 24th June 2015 David Girling @socialmedia4D
  2. 2. - Defining publics - Open policy making toolkit -Whiteboard Animations – Oxfam vs DEV - Seeding Brief outline
  3. 3. Social Media Audit
  4. 4. Defining publics Civil society Opinion formers Media Media gatekeepers Academics Policymakers Funders
  5. 5. Open policy making toolkit: social media listening and analyis “More than 50% of people in the UK use social media every week, so it is an important source of information for policy makers. It can feed our policy understanding by building our knowledge and helping us to make informed decisions. It is often also used for communication campaigns.” UK Cabinet Office March 2015
  6. 6. Issues to be aware of: • social media is not representative so the views you are hearing are only of a certain section of the population at a certain time • rumours and false information can spread easily over social media: be a cynic and check it against what you know; don’t rely on facts from a single unknown source • most tools only sample a small section of the whole conversation onTwitter: this isn’t a problem if you’re looking at trends in large quantities ofTwitter data but it is worth remembering that you’re not seeing every tweet • tools that claim to do accurate sentiment analysis (assessing social media messages as positive or negative) are rarely accurate as computers are not good at recognising humour or sarcasm; check the results and if possible correct what the tool finds
  7. 7. How to do social media analysis • Set your objectives • Work out who to monitor • Identify and understand your influencers • Check and adjust • Consider how to use the information you are gathering
  8. 8. NATO Summit 2014: engaging through digital What they did:Twitter to identify key influencers (councillors, business owners, community groups) #myWales How it worked: Storify, NATO sausage, Mount Pleasant Primary Why it worked: engagement, FCO networks What were the benefits: “This approach enabled us to overcome geography. Building a strong and responsive local network that was willing to publicise our messages locally….relationships that began via social media gave way to real life opportnuties”.
  9. 9. Connecting Social Media to the Policy Cycle - Online forums - Facebook - Google Hangouts - Ensure that social media tools are embedded in government processes - Building capacity in digital engagement - Make draft strategies and policies available for comment and discussion
  10. 10. How to communicate research for policy influence “The practice of data visualization is becoming increasingly important; moreover it is changing the way people receive and consume data….Data visualisation allows simplifying, measuring, comparing, exploring, and discovering data; it transforms data into information and information into knowledge.”
  11. 11. DFID Infographics
  12. 12. - Upload video to DEVYouTube on Friday 25th April - Promote via @socialmedia4D @martinscott2010 @developmentuea @uniofeastanglia - Schedule tweets over the weekend - Promote on DEV LinkedIn and Facebook Page - Send email round to DEV staff (John's round up?) - Send email to Media Students and Media Alumni? - Press Release? - Blog Post? - Contact various media people onTwitter e.g. BBCTrending, BBC Media Action, Media Matters, Media Trust, One World Media, Global Media Forum, Beth Kanter, Guardian, Guardian Professionals, Melinda Gates, Al Jazeera Stream, - Co-ordinate tweets with Jason Toal and Sarah Menard in Canada and Diana - Post to JISC Mail and any other LinkedIn Groups you know of
  13. 13. What is the purpose of your multi-author blog? Use an open source blogging platform e.g. Wordpress Gauge people’s buy-in Get support from the top How do you seed your blog? How do you measure success?
  14. 14. Summary - Define your audiences early on - Make research findings relevant to different audiences - Summarise effectively - Humanise the story - Need to embed behavioural change about social media
  15. 15. Barriers - Need a critical mass - Limitations of access - Internet cost - availability - Literacy
  16. 16. Further Reading - Alliance for Useful Evidence (2014) Social Media and Public Policy: What is the evidence? - Duncan Green (2014) What do What House Policy Makers want from Researchers? - Beth Kanter (2104) International Organizations and Social Media: News, Engagement, and Social Data for Policy Change - Ella McPherson (2014) Four things policy-makers need to know about social media data and real time analytics. - IBT (2015) Social Media – making your voice heard
  17. 17. THANK YOU David Girling @socialmedia4D