This is an interesting talk by Andy Williamson he gave in 2013 called From tools to strategy: putting citizens at the centre of our democracy. In it he discusses ways in which social media can be part of a community engagement strategy.
He suggests three principle:
- You don’t own the conversation (the conversation is owned by the people)
- No medium is an island (so you shouldn’t think of facebook or twitter as stand alone entities)
- The value is in the network (by tapping into the networks of social media users your reach can be greatly expanded).
In it he emphasises the importance of building intimacy, connections and partnerships. He suggests a number of ways to do this including:
- Go where the people are
- Listen. A lot
- Be authentic
- Share everything
- Join in
- Close the loop
- Trust your staff
- Own your mistakes.
This suggests a very collaborative approach. He concludes with some suggestions ways of making digital community engagement part of “business as usual”:
- Support effective use
- Develop clear policies, apply light rules
- Provide good but just-in-time training
- Trust people
- Mistakes are inevitable and rarely fatal
- Encourage people to
- Be your best advocates
- Connect with the brand
- Re-share content
- Innovate from every side
The talk is from the European Conference on Public Communication at the European Parliament and the Committee for the Regions in Brussels. The video of the speech and the slides are available from http://www.andywilliamson.com/index.php/going-beyond-tools-effective-social-media-policy-communication/. I combined the audio and slides so it was easier to follow.
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