Late last year we finished our pilot programme for Networked Councillor, where we worked with different councils to develop the thinking and skills that they would need to be effective in a digital, networked world. With us now looking forward to a set of new programmes (more about this soon!) we thought we’d share some of the great learning from the programmes.
What we learned
Here are some quick bullet points on the learning we and councillors gained (there’s a lot more to say!
1. Councillors who chose to use more than one type of social media ended up with bigger networks and more benefit.
2. Councils need to help councillors by creating social-media friendly content.
3. Councillors are better placed to hold difficult conversations with the public than council officers – so let them.
4. Most of what councillors say on social media really isn’t political.
5. It’s better to bring councillors into council’s engagement work – rather than hold them at arm’s length in case they say something controversial.
6. Every council is different – and the audience on social media will be different too
(We knew it already but every council has its own, distinct requirements and this became really clear straight away.)
7. Having some kit really helped!!
(Councillors in some of the councils we worked with were provided with iPads. We found that this really helped to introduce the idea of digital activities and working into what they were already as councillors.)
If you’re interested in the Networked Councillor for your council please give us a call or email us.