A day in the life

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:





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2 thoughts on “A day in the life

  1. Sarah, that’s really, really good of you to say. Thank you.

    The thinking was in part came from good feedback from people about gritting tweets – a subject close to both our hearts – and thinking if it can work in one area, can it work across others?

    There is som much that local government does that goes under the radar. It’s the routine stuff that people hardly think about unless it’s notthere. That’s why in 2011 we need to shout about what local government is doing.

    There’s a Q&A here on the Walsall Council website and a list of Twitter accounts contributing.

    Happily, there is a lot of people involved in this this morning – not just me!


  2. Good luck to you and all involved today – I hope there is plenty of coffee on hand 🙂

    I really enjoyed the Greater Manchester Police tweets earlier in the year and has turned the idea of tweeting everything that went through our call centre over in my head, as a localgov progression of the idea.

    I love that you’re doing this – because I think you’re right, so much stuff goes under the radar and people don’t know the extent of local gov services. And what’s the saying? You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone? Well, maybe this will help people understand what a localgov operation looks like and it’s not all about grit (however much we like banging on about it!)

    It’s also a marvel of local gov communication. There must have been a huge amount of work to get services on board with the idea and the co-ordination makes my head hurt. But this is the sort of innovation local gov communicators should be aspiring too in my opinion.

    Yes, a fantastic idea that looks to be going brilliantly so far today 🙂

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