Last October my team worked with our Internal Communications colleagues to develop an internal blogging platform (WordPress) to allow our new 14 Heads of Service to share thinking and updates about the council’s direction as well as updates from within their services areas.
We have had experience of internal blogging before – the chief executive used to blog, but that essentially faded away and was replaced with an internal email newsletter from the chief executive.
I remember having conversation with people back then and many said that they did like and value the chief executives blog but many thought that a more localised view from their head of service would make more sense….so here we are a few years down the road and we are now in that position.
So in the 3 months that they been going, my personal view is that they are successful – ok, not all heads of service are actively blogging yet, but we didn’t create or set any expectations for any of them. BUT and this is the good bit a good number of them are actively blogging and in my view are doing a great job.
So I thought I’d share some interesting high level stats in the short time they have been going – The stats are from 13th October 2011 to 12th January 2012.
- 4,482 – visits
- 1,850 – unique visitors
- 18,733 – page views
- 4.18 – pages a visit
- 3 mins 09 secs – average time on site
- 61% – returning visitors
- 26 – comments
In my view – this is fantastic, really good. The kind of stats we couldn’t have actually hoped for initially. My only concern is the number of comments, but this is a cultural thing really as well as the content in the blog posts…not all are written to encourage comments, some are purely information only…so we will be looking to add a “like this post” option so we can get a sense as to whether or not people are finding the posts valuable.
What we will be doing with our internal comms colleagues is providing some individual reports for those heads of service who blog to help them understand the details of their blogging pattern and style, for example which posts received most visits.
The most successful writing style is one which brings in elements of humour as well as the personality of the individual themselves…i guess a natural style…so our challenge is to encourage and support them to write more consistently like this when appropriate.
It is great to see and be part of a team (the wider communications team) who are making such great progress.
I have now been in my new post for almost 2 full weeks and to say it has been a whirlwind is a bit of an understatement – meetings, discussions, ideas, planning and strategy…It has felt a bit like a localgovcamp event to be honest – but with the added bonus of actually being able to progress work and initiate stuff straight away.
I thought I’d use this post to reflect on the last two weeks and share some of the plans and ideas we are developing which you will hopefully learn more about in the coming weeks and months either here on my blog or the upcoming team blog “Project Beta”.
As referred to in my previous post I am now back to being a line manager of 6 people and I’m very pleased with the team as they are all highly skilled, very motivated and already making stuff happen – I mean what more could I ask for…
So what have I done, I’ve sat down with the team individually and have found out what their expectations and requirements are of me as a manager and what they need me to do to help make them productive. We also have a draft work programme agreed which is still evolving and has a team member identified for everything task/project.
I’ve had many meetings with people ranging from our improving the corporate website, redefining the intranet, explaining and promoting the digital communication opportunities and I’ve written some documents and have sold ideas…. These conversations have been with the team itself, Heads of Service, Governance Groups, Elected Members and colleagues and staff in general.
A few highlights for me include:
- sitting down with one of the councillors who attended my social media session and helping them get set up with a personal blog, all in 2 hours. (I won’t share the link yet as they are finalising some early content for a launch shortly)
- getting agreement and commitment from one of our new Heads of Service to publicly blog about their service.
- agreement to a programme of work to consolidate the micro sites the council has and to reuse or refocus the content to improve the public website.
- agreement and support by one of our governance boards to improving and redefining the councils intranet.
- listening to and seeing first hand the excellent contribution members of the team make in meetings around web and digital communications projects.
We are only at the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we can do ourselves as team and what we can facilitate across the council. There are many more things I’m proud of personally and that of my team and would love to share but will leave these for another time.
My challenge and the teams is to keep up the momentum going and keeping pushing things forward.
For Local Government Colleagues who are keen to explain what social media in the workplace means but struggle to get their point across…
A colleague of mine @carefulkeith pointed me in the direction of “Social Media and the Workplace Explained by Common Craft”
This video takes a look at how social media sites like blogs, Twitter and Facebook are changing how companies think about external communication. It includes points on:
- How social media sites are making organizations rethink external communication
- How one company confronts a crisis – and learns how social media can help
- The role of empowering employees to participate
- The role of policies and guidelines in social media participation
Common craft videos are also available on you tube but this one isn’t available.