Councils are being offered a new way to alert residents to the fact they have embraced social media, with the national launch of the Social Media Friendly Mark.
The mark can be affixed to websites, meeting agendas and the other publications, letters and pamphlets councils send to residents, to advise people of their local authority's commitment to social media reporting. It can also indicate the availability of wi-fi in public buildings for live tweeting, blogging and taking and uploading photos.
The launch follows the overwhelming success of the #OurDay 'tweetathon' last week, which aimed to give the public a behind the scenes insight into the hard work that goes on 24-hours-a-day to deliver the hundreds of services councils provide. Almost 4,000 local government tweeters, including chief executives, frontline staff and councillors, contributed more than 10,000 individual tweets which were seen by more than 760,000 people. At one stage the #OurDay hashtag was the number two trending topic in the UK.
The use of the Social Media Friendly Mark comes with a set of guidelines which offer suggestions on how councils might like to make use of it.
Cllr Peter Fleming, Chairman of the LGA Improvement and Innovation Board, said: "Social media is a hugely important way of communicating with our increasingly web-savvy residents. The instant, low cost and direct nature of tools like Twitter are great for alerting people to things like road closures and flood warnings but they are just as good at giving people the opportunity to provide us with feedback on the services we provide.
"The launch of the Social Media Friendly Mark means we now have a clear way of communicating to the public that we are providing information through a broad range of online channels. It also gives us the opportunity to add to our reputation as the most open, transparent and democratic part of the public sector by letting residents, councillors and local government employees know when it is okay to tweet and blog from meetings."
Notes to editors
Full details of the Social Media Friendly Mark are available below:
Images from the #OurDay 'tweetathon' can be found at:
Author: LGA Media Office
Contact: Dale Atkinson, Local Government Association Media Office, Telephone: 020 7664 3333
22 January 2013