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Is social media the best way to communicate during the snow?

November 25, 2010
A map of where #uksnow is currently trending in the UK

I recently blogged about the success of the Coventry Facebook page.  Its success was largely down to one big, relevant-to-all issue – last winter’s snow storms. The snow-induced chaos meant that local media in Coventry was failing to get up to minute information out. Coventry City Council stepped into the breach and set up the Facebook page to provide quick updates on school closures, service disruptions and the roads.

So, with the snow starting to fall again, it seems a good time for councils to experiment with ways to improve ‘social’ communications and establish themselves as trusted conduits of local information (with increased follower figures).

I have just been speaking to the Blackburn communications team and they said:

“We’re also just found out that our Facebook page BwD Winter has 450 members signed up to receive regular updates about gritting, disruption to services from weather etc but in fact there have been over 2000 individual impressions since it was launched last month.”

Clearly then, there is a desire and need from the public for these council-led information services. I’d love to hear how and what other councils are doing online whilst the snow falls. Please feel free to email me on rob.dale@lgiu.org.uk and tell me what you’re doing.  I’ll then profile responses on the blog.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 6, 2010 4:24 pm

    I think social media – especially Twitter and Facebook – can play a great role in informing people during problems like the snow but councils are having problems with the engagement. I did a blog on it over at http://www.contently-managed.com/blog/2010/11/29/11-tips-for-councils-in-using-digital-comms-in-snow-blizzards/

  2. December 7, 2010 12:29 pm

    @Craig hello, thanks for the link – it’s always interesting to learhear of councils exploring new online initiatives. The point you made it really interesting – yes it’s good that these services are being used, however the difficulty is that the mindset they require is not embedded in to people’s online bahaviour. At least comms teams are having a go – that is the most important thing at this stage and I believe their efforts should be celebrated.

  3. December 7, 2010 12:41 pm

    Totally agree – as long as lessons are learned for improving the services (which is what all councils should do!)

Trackbacks

  1. More useful (and free) internet tools for sharing snow-related information « LGiU – the local democracy blog

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