strategic marketing group meeting

A good session at the Strategic Marketing Group meeting this morning. I gave an (all too) brief explanation of what social media is and the ways people are using the web to communicate, collaborate, generate content and form communities of interest.

Using the example of Birmingham’s Big City Plan and how the Birmingham Bloggers have made the information regarding the consultation more accessible by the Birmingham Bloggers I demonstrated how social media can provide the organisation with a real opportunity to engage with communities and collaborate with them to provide better services.

A basic framework for engagement
First we must start to listen. What are people saying about the area or organisation on Social Network Sites (SNS), blogs, discussion forums, delicious, flickr, youtube as we do with traditional media.

The next step is acknowledgement and response where appropriate. Responses should take place on the appropriate platform and not on the organisation’s web site or publications. If a facebook group has been set up in opposition to a council policy or decision we should not expect that community to visit the official website for a response, the response should be made through facebook.

Next we should begin to engage Blogging about large, public projects enables people to be involved in the process and progress of the project and keeps them informed. The comments facility on the blog should be enabled to allow feedback and conversation to develop. When received comments should be responded to. Uploading photographs to blogs or photo sharing web sites such as Flickr and posting presentations on slideshare etc can also be used as a way to engage and inform.

A brief demonstration of how we have used recent public comments on the web site news section to improve our information regarding the recent disruption to bin collections and the importance of responding with a human rather than an organisational voice.

Other concerns that need to be addressed centre mainly around culture change. These include: time and resource to research and develop new ways of working alongside current responsibilities, making public mistakes and dealing with blame culture. I think the biggest challenge we face is the change of culture which, hopefully, we can workout strategies for as we progress.

I would like to see a few more sessions like this to discus the fundamentals of social media and work out between us a practical strategy for experimentation.


Martin Brown Posted: “Thinking up activities for the first meeting of the our internal Social Media group” and got these responses from Twitter (in reverse order)

Links for today



  1. Nick Booth said

    Culture change is a huge challenge. Ownership and organisational jealousies can also lead to real progress being stifled or derailed.

    From some work I did there (on comms skills) a while ago I think Kirklees has much potential to do this well.

  2. […] Steven Tuck uses Big City Talk to get tongues wagging in a Social Media Session at Kirklees Council Google Maps created with a spreadsheet of addresses. […]

  3. steventuck said

    Thanks for the comment Nick. I agree, I think we have some really good people and a good positive attitude in the organisation to really make a difference.

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