Thursday, 25 September 2014

Council budget webchat - UPDATED

This lunchtime I took part in an online discussion about the council's proposed budget for the next four years. We brought together a wide variety of social media and integrated them to make a pretty fantastic platform to engage with residents and got a great response.

Here's the geeky bit.

The platforms we used were the usual suspects - facebook, twitter and youtube - but also Cover It Live, a discussion platform we use alongside our webcasting which allows people to comment on the proceedings.

Thanks to the great work of our comms team, we got these all together in one place so that comments posted from a variety of platforms could be brought together in a single stream. We answered with live text and with seven short videos that we had prepared in advance to act as introduction, wrap up and to cover five of the most frequently asked questions.

The event ran for two hours and we plugged it via social media beforehand. We also got some support from Radio Cornwall who interviewed me this morning about the consultation and mentioned it on air when it started.

We got enough questions to fill the full two hours. I may not be the fastest typist, but I'm also not the slowest and I don't think I paused for the entire 120 minutes.

The live stream has been saved and archived and is available here.

To any council or elected politician wanting to consult with people, I would thoroughly recommend this sort of event. Of course, it is only a way of communicating with people who have internet access at the time you are live. It doesn't replace what a face to face session can do (and the council is hosting 19 such events across Cornwall starting next Wednesday) but it did reach out to many people who might be concerned but not worried enough to come along to an event in person.

Hopefully, I can persuade our excellent comms person who pulled it all together to write a blog with more of the technical details and I'll add a link if he does.

UPDATE - Here's a blog written by the guy who put the event together (and knows what he is talking about).

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