I’m worried about the Social Media Folk in Localgov

A tweet from @psfnick earlier today…


…got me thinking about people across the public sector and beyond who are really passionate about exploring social media in their organisations but don’t seem to have much support in terms of access to relevant sites or support from management in general.

Well, I’m worried for the social media folk in Local government and beyond, I’d like to briefly explain why and offer some generic tips.

If as an employee you are keen to explore how social media can help your council or organisation and you currently struggle with access in work or access is simply blocked , then I’d like to suggest some do’s and don’ts and words of support:


  • Do be clear about why you want access and what you want access to and find out why access is not allowed?
  • Do talk to your ICT and Information Security colleague(s) (they maybe the same person) and explain what you are trying to achieve and how enabling access can help your organisation.
  • Do manage expectations at all levels – if your manager has asked you to do this – be clear about what you can and can’t do in the current situation and explain as best possible what you could do differently with open access. If access is limited to particular times of day – ensure that you are communicating this in your profile or bio to manage expectations.
  • Do try to build your own personal understanding of the opportunities by using your own time and personal equipment to “listen” to the conversations and then periodically report back the types of issues the organisation is missing out on.
  • Do use the time you do have to build a stronger business case.
  • Do be clear about who is actually sponsoring the work or task and report regularly to that person on some basic measures and metrics.
  • Do take other people with you on the journey.
  • Do connect with others (online and offline) and share learning.


  • Don’t demand access as  a critical part of your role, this will simply create additional friction and is likely to reduce your chances of getting access over time.
  • Don’t start using your own time and personal equipment to “respond” to enquiries and issues in social media – if your organisation isn’t supporting you  – you are putting yourself at risk.
  • Don’t assume that there isn’t any risk to your organisations network, unless you are clear about the impact of allowing access on other business systems then it could be a legitimate reason (for now). Some sites do pose additional risks.
  • Don’t get disheartened that your neighbouring council or organisation is embracing social media. Your journey is unique to your own organisation.
  • Don’t think this is easy to solve.

There are lots more I could say, but these are the more generic things I would say, each situation is unique. But i am more than happy to chat.

Hope this is helpful






3 thoughts on “I’m worried about the Social Media Folk in Localgov

Leave a comment or share your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.