Earlier this evening I saw a link to a Guardian website article written by Richard Wilson, which made me smile and happy but also slightly embarrassed.
The article talks about 7 steps to get started and I strongly agree with the steps outlined and in particular the lack of focus on skills and people to exploit opportunities with organisations.
Richard was very kind to give me a mention and credit for a successful project the council ran last year but also again this year around our budget consultation which we call Tough Choices.
Now I have to be honest as you can’t hide the truth in a social world but the success of last years project and the early feedback from this years has had nothing to do with me…one thing is that I wasn’t in post last year although was supportive of one of my team Russell Taylor in pushing forward ideas. Again this year whilst being in post, the practical work and ideas have come from colleagues within communications and I’m very proud of them as it has been a pleasure to watch from a far.
Richard’s point however about having people inside the organisation is valid, I can’t claim to have any direct impact on the success of these projects – maybe I’ve helped in soft ways through encouragement and support however that is hard to measure and only others could say whether or not they believed I helped in any way – but this is exactly the point that Richard eludes to around in house skills…it isn’t really about whether or not I directly got involved but the fact the council decided to appoint me as a Digital Communications Manager, this recognises and demonstrates that the opportunities presented by social and digital tools, channels and approaches requires co-ordination, drive and direction from inside the council and not via external people who do not understand the culture and politics within the council in order to make progress and work round issues in tactical and essentially covert ways…
Looking at the final point “get good advice” is something I am always keen to seek and I’m fortunate and feel privileged to know and be able to seek advice and support from (in my view) some of the best and inspirational digital and social minds in the UK if not Europe and beyond.
So credit where it’s due.