Cllrs and Twitter (Some Alternative Case Studies)

Cllrsocmed is all about encouraging councillors to use social media and see the benefits.  This has been the main objective of our sessions and the purpose of this site.  Nevertheless, the sessions we have run have always featured a discussion about responsible use, standards, the law and public perception.  We try to find and use positive case studies, but sometimes the “alternative” case studies that emerge demonstrate the point.  There have been two examples recently that serve as pointers for councillors in terms of what can go wrong and how the immediacy of Twitter can have repercussions.  The headlines tell the story:

For every story like these it’s important to remember that councillors up and down the country are using Twitter to great effect as part of their many roles and are not getting positive headlines for it, which is a shame.  If proof is needed go check out TweetyHall.  Related posts include:


So what is a blog? (Steve Tuck explains in two minutes)

As part of the #cllrsocmed plain language and myth busting theme @steventuck explains a blog in two minutes.  This video clip was pulled together at our session in Barnsley.

Related posts:

How to set up a blog

Add a new post and insert an image

– Tips for councillors blogging and using Facebook

Connected Councillors

Blogging Quick Guide

10 Reasons Why Cllrs Should Use Social Media

1 Page Guide to Blogging with WordPress

The Internet and Social Media Explained (in 2 minutes)

I’ve blogged previously about the lack of structure to our cllrsocmed sessions – it really is a case of go with the flow and see where councillors take the discussion in order to get the most out of it.  That said every session needed some brief background that explained this whole social media thing in the context of the internet.  @steventuck is great at making the complex totally straightforward – check out this video clip of him in action at our session in Barnsley.

Cllr Mike Jordan Talks Cllrsocmed

When we did our very first cllrsocmed session in York Cllr Mike Jordan from Selby was there.  He was already a user of social media.  It was great to catch up with him again in Leeds where he played an active part in sharing his social media journey.  Follow him on Twitter  (@gtjordan) and view his blog.  He took the time to share some of his experiences and views in this video clip.

Cllr Tim Cheetham Talks Cllrsocmed

Between providing expert help and advice at our session in Scarborough, Cllr Cheetham took time to do this short video clip.  Follow Cllr Cheetham on Twitter (@cllrtim) or view his blog.

Cllrs – Why Bother?

As part of the regional sessions we spent a lot of time discussing with councillors why they should bother with all this social media stuff.  The barriers ranged from not enough time to reputational and standards risk, from techno fear to generating even more work for a busy councillor. Quite often there seemed to be more reasons to avoid social media than positively pursue it.

Well, for all you councillors considering taking the plunge, have a look at the Top Ten Reasons for Cllrs to Use Social Media produced by those lovely folk at Local Government Leadership.  Their 21st Century Councillors site is a brilliant space for councillors (and officers who support them) whatever point they are on on their socmed journey.



On-Line Councillor of the Year

Cllr Barber - On-Line Cllr of the Year 2011

Well, gutted as we are that our own cllrsocmed expert CllrTim Cheetham didn’t win the On-Line Councillor of the Year at the Councillor Awards, congratulations go out to Cllr James Barber.   Quote from the judges below:

“Cllr Barber’s use of online media demonstrates how councillors can engage citizens within their own space in order to make a difference in their communities. He has established a presence on a citizen-run neighbourhood website by engaging and responding positively to local people’s issues, providing information, giving responses from officers and inviting residents to submit their problems and questions to him. Cllr Barber has been cited as a pioneer in this field in research for London Councils; by offering his services in a citizen centred space.

Unlike other nominees in this category, judges really felt that Cllr Barber’s achievements stood out as being different because he has managed to assert himself on existing media that residents of his local area use – he has gone to them rather than expecting them to come to him. The judges noted that ‘if social media is about anything, it is about being where people are’ and this is an excellent example of this.”

This is another brilliant example of a councillor using social media in imaginative and effective ways to make a positive difference.