Topic: social media

Keeping safe online for #SaferInternetDay thumbnail image

Keeping safe online for #SaferInternetDay

We’ve been really pleased to see the huge reaction on Twitter to #SaferInternetDay 2019. In its 16th year, it’s all about working together for a better internet with advice and tools for keeping us safe online. Here we’ve rounded up some of the best advice and tools from the day in to a handy list. […]

7 tips for freshening up your comms thumbnail image

7 tips for freshening up your comms

You’re a digital communications manager returning to your desk after the festive break. You open your inbox to a stream of apparently ‘urgent’ emails, you can’t remember the Twitter password and your monitoring software provider calls to say they’ve increased your annual subscription fees. It might not feel like it at the time but this […]

The Apple and the Worm: Stories in an online age

Stories today are shapeless, slippery fellows who slip through the fingers of all those who try to grasp them. To demonstrate this let’s look at the made-up story of the Apple and the Worm. 1986 Charles bought an apple from the Acme Fruit & Veg stall. When he got it home he took a bite […]

A rogue Digital Jedi

Bias effects everything. From what we wear to how we design websites. And I am as guilty as everyone else. I think I know what an audience will react to. I think I know what will look good. I think I know what channels certain audiences will use. But I don’t. I found this out the […]

Are hyperlocals part of your engagement strategy?

Hyperlocal channels including blogs, twitter accounts, Facebook pages and groups, vary in size, scale and value. Finding the right ones to engage with could make a real difference to the success of your organisation’s communications strategy. For press teams used to dealing with more traditional media, the usefulness of hyperlocals can sometimes be overlooked. We’ve […]

How to avoid mistakes when scheduling social media posts

Good social media is engaging, timely, and visually appealing. The pace of change and expectations for good quality content are ever increasing. For example more and more channels offer live video streaming. However, scheduling still has its place and done well can make your life a lot easier. Do try different tools There are a wide […]

Helping Essex Council launch customer service on social

Essex County Council have been early adopters of social media channels for sharing important messages and promoting their services. In Summer 2016, the Council began to respond to individual comments and questions directed at their two main social media channels on Twitter and Facebook. Taking this step is no mean feat: Essex is one of […]

Happy Thanksgiving – Don’t burn your house down

A good example here from the States about the power of video. Here are two pieces of content that are part of campaign to encourage people to cook their turkey responsibly (without setting fire to the house!) at Thanksgiving. We don’t all have access to content quite as dramatic as this. But compare this tweet (image, […]

Election news bot cuts through the chatter

Like many people, I was amazed to wake up to the news that Donald Trump was close to winning the US Presidential election. As the day has gone on the final result is gradually sinking in.  I’m a big fan of Hillary Clinton and wrote my dissertation on her transformation of the role of First Lady, […]

Hello, audience: this is what’s on my mind thumbnail image

Hello, audience: this is what’s on my mind

I see myself as someone who has grown with social media. The other day I was discussing  with a close friend about how our presence on social media has adapted to suit our current lives.  When you look back over the past ten years and think about your social media footprint, isn’t it amazing how […]

Pokemon Go – police and councils play the game thumbnail image

Pokemon Go – police and councils play the game

Whether you’re a fan or just bewildered there’s no ignoring the Pokemon Go phenomenon. It’s not without controversy, but done well, Pokemon is an opportunity to engage with a new audience and share key messages about your organisation’s services and priorities. Here are just a couple of examples I’ve seen of public sector teams linking up their […]

Digital skills for Regulators thumbnail image

Digital skills for Regulators

Friends and family nod approvingly when I explain our training work. This is a first for me, as a former civil servant and journalist – until now the looks have been blank, or furrowed. What’s less easy to explain are the types of organisation we help. Large Government departments and financial services companies are recognised. […]

#nhsgetsocial and the power of networked learning thumbnail image

#nhsgetsocial and the power of networked learning

I was in Leeds this week, meeting NHS staff who want to find out more about how to start, or develop, their use of social media. You can read about all the different talks and learning sessions on the hashtag: #nhsgetsocial The stand-out theme for me was about the importance of empowering staff to use […]

Testing… testing… thumbnail image

Testing… testing…

On the Digital Action Plan we like to challenge participants who are already confident producing content across a wide range of channels. One of the ways we do this is by asking them to test and improve their content. Here are a selection of examples which demonstrate the value of regular testing and improvement. Netflix: emotional […]

How better online engagement supports digital democracy thumbnail image

How better online engagement supports digital democracy

I was pleased to discover The Democratic Society is holding DemFest 2016, a new democracy festival this weekend, although sadly I won’t be able to make it to North Wales where the event is being held this year.  Digital democracy: beyond Boaty McBoatface One of the parts of the festival I’m most interested in the session […]

Time to abandon your own blog and switch to Medium? thumbnail image

Time to abandon your own blog and switch to Medium?

A couple of weeks ago, the Free Code Camp project made headlines by announcing they had decided to abandon their independent blog in favour of posting content directly to Medium, the popular online publishing platform. Go where your audience is On the Digital Action Plan, we advise participants to engage with their audiences in the places […]

Why you should always listen carefully on social media thumbnail image

Why you should always listen carefully on social media

One of the key aims of the Digital Action Plan is to broaden participants experience of digital tools, and the many ways they can be used. Social media is so much more than just broadcasting messages. As the name implies social media should be social and involve engaging, debating, and listening. You can learn a […]

What the Hackney Rat can teach us about online engagement thumbnail image

What the Hackney Rat can teach us about online engagement

I’m sure you will have seen something about the Hackney Rat this weekend, it has been a popular news story on Twitter, Facebook and national news. The story, and how Hackney Council chose to respond to it, can teach us a lot about effective online engagement. The story really took off on Friday lunchtime when the […]

Tips for running a successful social media surgery thumbnail image

Tips for running a successful social media surgery

On Tuesday afternoon, Tim (@timolloyd on Twitter) and I delivered some social media training for staff at the Office of Rail and Road (@railandroad on Twitter) in London. The training was made of up two parts: a lunchtime presentation by Tim on the characteristics of effective digital engagement followed by an informal ‘social media surgery’, which I […]

How digital can support local democracy – reflections on #notwestminster 2016 thumbnail image

How digital can support local democracy – reflections on #notwestminster 2016

On Saturday, I was lucky enough to get along to Huddersfield for #notwestminster, the second annual get together for everyone with an interest in improving local democracy. Through a combination of lightning talks and structured workshop sessions, we explored solutions to a wide range of problems facing local democracy – everything from how we provide […]

Supporting authentic digital engagement thumbnail image

Supporting authentic digital engagement

My role as product lead for the Digital Action Plan often involves working closely with senior civil servants to help them become more confident around digital engagement. I’d like to share with you what I have observed to be the main barriers to civil servants becoming authentic digital communicators and how we can overcome them.

A year of learning thumbnail image

A year of learning

If 2014 was about first steps for the Digital Action Plan program, then 2015 has been a hop, skip and a jump. I think we have learned a lot, and still have a long way to go, to understand what exactly motivates and helps people to develop their digital skills. 204 people have taken on a personalised […]