Web technology for local councils

The Old Rectory

Contact: 2commune Limited
The Old Rectory, Main Street
Glenfield, Leicestershire

Tel: 0845 868 3975

Tags: Social Media

New web resource provides digital hub for councils!

Posted: Tue, 05 May 2015 14:15 by Ray Smith

The Local Government Association and Comms2point0 have launched 'Digital Councils', a hub for local government on all things social media.

The resource can be found here: http://www.local.gov.uk/digital-councils and includes guidance on all elements of social media from getting to grips with Twitter and other social networks to building a digital strategy, providing a way for the LGA to work with a range of councils and councillors who can be moving at different speeds. It includes a mythbuster section as well as hints and tips pages specially designed to reflect the range of different roles in a council, such as officers and councillors.

Digital Councils will be continuously updated to reflect current work and will carry a range of case studies so authorities can learn from good practice elsewhere.

Cllr David Sparks, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said:

"Many councils have already got to grips with social media and are using it to communicate with their residents about things like bin collections, weather warnings and road closures.

Tags: News, Resource, Social Media

Are your digital skills up to scratch?

Posted: Fri, 12 Sep 2014 18:00 by Ray Smith

As more and more local councils make use of social media, we thought that it might be useful to consider what skills are required in your organisation to enable you to exploit these 'digital communication channels'. Twitter is increasingly being used by local councils with some also starting to use Facebook.

In our experience, there is still some scepticism surrounding use of social media within parish and town councils. There is no doubt that the use of social media will increase 'depth and breadth of reach' into your communities and allow you to engage with a wider audience.

It's becoming more important that you have staff with digital skills, here're some useful links to get you started:

University of Leicester: this content has been written to help staff in the university understand how to use social media in their organisation but is equally relevant to parish and town councils. In addition to the links below you will find lots of other useful resources on this site.
Social media communications - guidance and best practice
Practical Twitter tips for beginners
Setting up a Facebook account

Anthony Carpen has produced some useful social media resources including these videos:
Introduction to Twitter
Introduction to Facebook

Once you have set up your Twitter and Facebook accounts you will need to ensure that you update them frequently in order to keep your followers interested. 'Link back' to your website, ideally posts should be brief 'titbits' to entice the reader back to the full information on your website. This draws customers back to your site where they can find lots of other useful information about your organisation and give you an opportunity to further engage with them. For example, encourage them to complete an online consultation form or become a councillor (if you have a vacancy).

Our website technology UKLC (UK Local Councils) allows you to become more efficient and effective by automating the publishing of content to your digital channels. This allows you to set up a campaign by entering several post dated news items on your site. These news items can't be seen until they hit the publish date when they become visible and at the same time the content is automatically published on Twitter and Facebook. This means that you no longer need to go to each channel to add content and that your communication is automatically synchronized across all channels, driven from news items added to your website.

And finally, here's a thought provoking article about the use of social media in higher tier local authorities.

Tags: UKLC, UK Local Councils, Parish Councils, Town Councils, Tip, Social Media, Twitter, Facebook