Epic Social Media for the Public Sector – Scotland

I had a great time this week speaking at the Epic Social Media for the Public Sector event in Glasgow this week and thought I’d do a quick round-up of the presentations and the thoughts that occurred to me.

Slides and videos for the presentations will be available on the Public Sector Web Network website soon and there is also lots of good soundbites from the day on the #epicsm hashtag.

Here’s a brief overview of the presentations and speakers:

Jo Smith, Argyll and Bute Council
Feel the social media fear and do it anyway

Jo gave an insightful and honest presentation about taking inspiration from a similar, previous event and applying that at her council.

She went through the benefits of using social media to listen, communicate and engage as well as giving some practical tips to get the most out of certain tools.

She mentioned in her talk a flow-chart she uses to help make a decision on whether an official response is needed and there was lots of interest in it from delegates. I think the one Jo was based on one by the US Air Force and another version of that I’ve seen mentioned lots before is by Michael Grimes of the Citizenship Foundation – you can see it and download it here. It’s published under a Creative Commons licence so you can re-use it as long as it isn’t for commercial gain.

Following up on this theme Jo took masterclasses in the afternoon about dealing with negative comments online. You can follow her on twitter at @geordiejo-jo.

Corrinne Douglas, Stirling Council
Engagement, engagement, engagement – how to make the most of your social media presence

Corrinne gave some great practical examples of how they’ve been using social media at Stirling Council including Waste Wednesday – a weekly chat curated around a hashtag; Bag It Bin It campaign; and closed Facebook groups for peer and council support in social care.

What was really interesting for me was the measurable outcomes Corrinne had seen as a result of these campaigns – this is the point of using social media for me, not the number of followers on the corporate twitter account but measurable impact on delivery or demand for services.

In the afternoon Corrinne hosted masterclasses on using Facebook. You can follow her on Twitter at @corrinnedouglas.

Dan Slee, Walsall MBC
How real-time social media campaigns can make routine tasks sexy

Dan gave a practical approach to running a real-time social media campaign to raise awareness of the diversity and importance of tasks from public sector organisations as well as build internal engagement in the social media presence.

His own experience was with #walsall24 but he also spoke about online events run by Greater Manchester Police, Water Aid and the #whatwedo campaign which was taking place at the time with 28 Scottish councils tweeting for 24-hours about their services.

Dan ran afternoon masterclasses on using Twitter from setting up a corporate account to running a large-scale multiple-account event. You can follow him on Twitter at @danslee.

Gary McGrow, NHS Scotland
Using social media in NHS Scotland

Gary’s presentation provided some good background stats about how people are using the internet and how the numbers are now stacking up on use of social media.

He then gave some insight into how NHS Scotland are making use of social media and also hosted masterclasses about this in the afternoon.

Stuart Harrison, Lichfield District Council
Rise of the Planet of the Apps

Stuart gave a good overview of the importance of mobile-friendly sites and apps as well as some not-too-technical advice on how to achieve this.

He also spoke about the increasing prevalence of QR codes, their possible applications for the public sector and gave the example of QRPedia as an example of how it’s already being used.

Stuart’s masterclass was about mobile, apps and QR as well. You can follow him on Twitter at @pezholio.

And then there was me talking about – Derbyshire Votes: real-time reporting of local elections 2009

The first time I’ve ever done a presentation like this so hopefully my case study of Derbyshire’s use of social media to present real-time results of the local election back in 2009 was useful to some!

I’ve blogged before in more detail about what we did and you can see those posts here – before polling day and what we did on results day.

While elections are directly relevant to councils I think the principles of real-time reporting can be transferred to other areas of the public or education sector – colleges may use it around results time for example or other agencies may need to employe this sort of tactic during adverse weather / other crisis comms.

I took masterclasses in the afternoon about elections, blogging and real-time reporting and you can follow me here or on Twitter at @sarahlay.

Other masterclasses

As well as the masterclasses taken by the speakers there were also sessions by Dave Briggs on process and strategy; Andrew Beeken on low-cost video production; sponsor RepKnight on social media monitoring (other sponsors of the event were Jadu and Squiz).

So that was EpicSM Scotland. I learnt lots from the delegates that came along and I’m looking forward to seeing how they develop the ideas they spoke to me about.

Rumour has it the event may be heading to England’s South West next but if you’re interested in attending a future event do pester Dave Briggs or Nick Hill about it.

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