Government, Social Media, Irony

Sunday, August 2, 2009 7:20 | Filed in Public Sector, Social Media, Standards, Technology, twitter

New government guidance has been published urging civil servants to use the micro-blogging site Twitter. Launched on the Cabinet Office website, the 20-page document is calling on departments to “tweet” on “issues of relevance or upcoming events”.

BBC News: Government advice urges tweeting

Personally, I think this is a great idea. I think government — at national and at local levels — should look to take every opportunity to engage with the public — and actually try and get them interested and involved at whatever level you can. I think this should be part of a corporate communications strategy: not just using social media for the sake of it, but looking at the best way to communicate with citizens, bearing in mind different citizens have different preferences.

And while not everyone will want to engage online, a significant and increasing proportion will (waves hand) and for these people if you can engage with them online it’s frequently better in terms of reputation management than simply dealing with them over the telephone.

So the Template Twitter Strategy For Government Departments is available online to look at, should you want to.

If you’re going to use twitter, you’ve got to use it properly otherwise at best you’ll get ignored and at worst you’ll set yourself up for some habitat-style reputational damage. It’s important to best know when, and how, to use social media — don’t just use it because it is there, use it if it will add value to your organisation.

Obviously, not everyone approves of Government use of social media, and this is where the irony comes in:

I’m sorry but the government should get on with it’s job, not twittering, facebooking or myspacing. Really, anyone who uses these things must have no life

Mark from Lancashire, talking on BBC Have Your say, quoted on BBC News: Government advice urges tweeting

Right, so Mark thinks that anyone who uses twitter, facebook or myspace must have no life. But presumably that those people who contribute to BBC’s Have Your Say are an entirely different kettle of fish…

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5 Comments to Government, Social Media, Irony

  1. deburca (James Burke) says:

    August 2nd, 2009 at 7:05 am

    New post: Government, Social Media, Irony #fb (via @ThePickards) [BBC Have Your Say...]

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    August 2nd, 2009 at 8:29 am

    RT @deburca: New post: Government, Social Media, Irony #fb (via @ThePickards) [BBC Have Your Say...]

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