SOCIAL RIPOSTE: The greatest public sector tweet in a long time is also mildly depressing

​This is the greatest tweet I’ve read from someone in the public sector in a long time.

It may also be one of the most depressing.

It was sent by a police officer to a football supporter complaining that his tax was being spent on an officer tweeting.

The reply pointed out that he was doing most of it in his spare time:

Why is this great?

A police officer pointing out politely that he was doing this largely unpaid because he and others saw the value in it.

Reaction to it was overwhelmingly positive.

Why depressing?

Because surely we’ve reached a point where using the social web to keep people informed is core activity.

That’s not to have a go at the officer. Far from it. He deserves huge credit. Not just for tweeting but the way he handled his critic.

But almost a decade since the first public sector social media accounts emerged this isn’t seen as a fundamental requirement? 

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  1. Keyboard warriors! This example shows both the good/bad sides of social media. Good social media accounts can make excellent public services in their own right and with an increasing pop % using social media it makes so much sense. I often use social media in a work capacity in my own time too and have no problems with it at all if it’s of benefit to others. Nice post! Tom.

  2. Definitely depressing, and unfortunately all too frequent. At least once every few weeks we get someone attacking us for using social media out of hours, once it was from a Councillor enquiring on behalf of a constituent. He said he had no concerns about the content, but needed reassurance that we weren’t being paid to Tweet out of core hours. We’re not, but if the info is relevant/useful/can answer an easily resolved question out of hours then why isn’t it seen as a core business. I’m sad that the challenge from the Councillor was not more about why we don’t manage our service differently to be able to provide a shift-based customer service over longer hours to ensure the best value for the public, rather than wanting to make sure we weren’t being paid extra to do more.

  3. Given the frequency with which we have to ignore comments about “you get paid to be on Facebook? why are you paying to promote this video?”, the public certainly don’t see it that way, and that means at least some councillors aren’t likely to either.

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