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by Daniel Pearmain, learning and research co-ordinator, December 2014 ...
Lessons from the digital and social media action learning set
Between October-February six Big Local areas took part in an action learning set run by NANM (National Association for Neighbourhood Management). It was about all things digital and social media. The content of each meeting was designed by the areas themselves and experts were brought in along the way to share their knowledge. The group was made up of individuals who had agreed to take on the responsibility for developing communication through social media in their Big Local area.
Areas of interest that the set covered included a discussion around Facebook pages vs. Facebook groups and the protocols when it comes to obtaining consent for photos and media that you want to use in marketing your Big Local online. As well as some practical exercises on setting up a basic website, looking at what data management tools are available, how to write a blog and how to film a vox pop. In the final meeting on 26 February the group wrote a blog together to share the lessons that they had learnt and felt strongly enough about this to share it with other Big Local areas that are wanting to go down a similar path.
Get permission for photos; use different channels (Sophie, Slade Green)
The social media course made the group aware of the importance of asking permission when publishing photos of people and places. Some people might not be aware of their pictures or videos being posted on Youtube. The social media course also give you plenty of practical advice about how to use social media and store information on different channels like Facebook, Dropbox, WordPress, blogs.
Use all the skills of your partnership to share content (Shanie, Leeming & Aycliffe)
When using different types of social media, you should utilise the skills on your partnership or within your community to share content. This will enable you to target different audiences effectively without over loading one person. What I learned about the varied types of social media has expanded my own personal knowledge, which will give me a greater understanding when dealing with businesses or other relevant agencies.
Use social media to get everyone involved (Andy, Warwick Ahead)
Social media is a great way to be involved with your project and is an ideal way of reaching everyone within the community. Social media is for everyone, every generation, don’t be scared to get involved, give it a go! It can be useful and will build your knowledge, skills and confidence!
You need confidence to speak on behalf of your community (Leeanne, Mottingham)
I’ve gained the confidence to be able to speak on behalf of my local community via Facebook and Twitter. I’ve also gained the knowledge to be able to set up a website and make it look professional. Meeting people from other Big Local areas has been the most useful as we have managed to solve problems between us.
A communications subgroup is essential (George, Kingswood and Hazel Leys)
There should be at least 4 people in the group if possible, there should be a clear strategy and direction which should be reviewed/evaluated regularly, the combination of social media and traditional media is really important. Passwords need to be held safely. Social media can have a fun element and the responsibility shared and managed.
Social media reaches the people who don’t come to meetings (Amir, Bountagu)
The sessions have helped to highlight the importance of using social media as an essential tool to engage with residents. Having a web presence is important to establish credibility of a project and also provides residents with more information that can be viewed in their own time at their leisure. The sessions helped to identify ways in which social media can be used to engage with residents who are not able to attend meetings or approachable in person.