This information isn’t secret but it’s not well shared! It was Carolyn Mitchell who passed the knowledge to me so I could apply for Nottinghamshire County Council’s tick. As it’s available to all category one responders (which covers a lot of councils – if you’re not sure you can check the Civil Contingences Act) it seems only right that the process is made available.
And it really is quite a simple process once it’s been revealed to you. Ready? Here we go…
You just need to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the address of your official council account and listing two organisational email addresses which can be stored against it (these can be personal or generic as far as I know). The good folk of the Cabinet Office will then do the do with Twitter on your behalf. That’s it…
Now, quite rightly, the Cabinet Office will only process requests from genuine Category 1 responders so I suggest you email them from your organisation’s email address to verify your own identity! Updates to the process (for example the email address occasionally changes) are posted in the Resilience Gateway – worth speaking to your emergency planning team about access to this or them keeping an eye out for updates if you don’t have access yourself.
It takes a few weeks to go through the approval process but eventually the coveted blue tick should appear on your account. It’s hard to tell whether this makes any day-to-day difference to you or your followers but it’s a good instant clarification if you’re carrying out crisis communications or have a parody account (do any Council’s have a parody of them?).
It’s well worth a read of the post Carolyn put together about her experience of submitting Scottish Cat 1 accounts to Twitter for verification. They came back with advice on what they would expect to see from these accounts which looks like common sense / good social media practice to me. You can find Carolyn’s post here.
So there you have it – one of those things that is simple once you know how! Good luck!
There is a discussion on the LocalGov Digital G+ Community about how to get verified so this post is a follow on to that – thanks to Albert Freeman for asking the question! The Community is a great place to ask questions, share and discuss with other practitioners so give it a look if you haven’t already.