There is an impressive experiment in local government communications underway right now. Walsall Council are sharing as much as they possibly can about as many of their services over 24 hours from 6am today (3 March 2011).
They’re tweeting, posting to Facebook and adding images of their services in action to Flickr. It’s about their customer service enquiries, libraries, art galleries, open spaces, litter picking, potholes and bins. It’s about caring for the elderly, the young or the vulnerable. It’s about the great many services delivered by local government which are invisible to most people but nevertheless vital if you need them.
Already today they’ve tweeted about reports of noisy cockerels, litter picking in the town centre, a pest control operation, monitoring the weather to see if gritting is needed tonight and the dog warden being out and about. All part of the daily routine of the council but building into the big picture most people don’t see.
As a communications effort this is massive. A simple idea (Greater Manchester Police did something similar – tweeting all reports made to them over 24 hours) which would take a hefty amount of co-ordination and a healthy dollop of inspiration to get services involved.
Hats off to Dan Slee at Walsall – he’s blogged about the idea here and you can follow the day in the life of Walsall Council via the hashtag #walsall24, at their main Twitter stream @walsallcouncil and special streams: