Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Local councillors and social media

Jeremy Rowe, a Liberal Democrat member of North Cornwall District Council, has an interesting article on the Local Government Improvement and Development website describing his experience of social media.

That experience began with what must have felt like a disaster. After taking part in a light-hearted conversation with a number of other tweeting councillors during a three-hour debate on member allowances, he found himself on the front page of the Western Morning News under the headline "What a bunch of Twitterers".

But what happened next was instructive. Jeremy's number of followers tripled almost overnight and then:
The point at which I realised that it was all truly worthwhile was when a student at University College Falmouth contacted me. She said that her course colleagues all logged on to Twitter at the start of a Cornwall Council meeting to follow proceedings from the councillors’ perspective. Here were a group of people often described as ‘hard to reach’ who simply wished to be engaged with through a method that suited them.
Still, he remains convinced that Twitter and other forms of social media are no substitute for leafleting, knocking on doors and "looking at the whites of your voters’ eyes".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

NCDC hasn't existed since April 2009. IDeA got it wrong!

Jeremy is a member of Cornwall Council!