England & Wales HR, workforce and communications, Personal and organisational development, Technology

Seminar: Effective Communication Series: Using Social Media for Local Government


Effective communication for councillors and officers

Community leaders and staff have more ways than ever before to engage with and respond to their residents.  This suite of seminars can be attended as stand-alone sessions or as a development suite.


This training and development day is designed to enable delegates with the skills, confidence and plan to use social media more effectively

The course will concentrate on effective good practice, brand management, using social media to listen and choice of social media networks.

These working sessions will be highly interactive and delegates will be encouraged to take advantage of the networking opportunities from the day and discuss current challenges facing organisations using social media.

The objectives of the course are:

  • To consider how your organisation’s or department’s message and brand can be supported effectively on social media
  • To be aware of good practice, staying legal and managing positive and negative stories effectively
  • To understand the importance and of how to use social media for listening and understanding your service users.
  • To consider how to get the best from social media –creating interesting content, engaging and two-way communication.
  • To be aware of the different uses of the most popular social media platforms and their relative strengths, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin and WhatsApp and an awareness of using social media management tools.
  • As part of the programme, participants will be able to build an action plan based on a topic or issue that they are currently considering.


9:30-10:00 Registration & Refreshments
10:00-10:15 Introduction

  • Your Objectives
  • Icebreaker – 140 character intro
  • Action plan discussion
10:15-11:15 Your brand and message

  • What do you want people to think about you?
  • What do you want them to understanding?

Guidelines and good practice

  • Guidelines ideas
  • The 3 rules of social media
  • Good practice examples
11:15-11:25 Morning Break
11:25-12:45 Social media platforms

Demographics, ‘rules’ and tone covering platforms at the request of participants but likely to include:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

Action plan discussion and areas participants want to explore

12:45-13:25 Lunch
13.25-14:35 Understanding your audience

  • Defining your audience
  • Active listening through social media

Using a social media management tool

  • The pros and cons
  • Hootsuite demonstration
14.35-14:45 Afternoon Break
14:45-16:00 Getting the best from social media

  • Creating interesting content
  • 2-way communication
  • Building a community

Building a social media plan

  • The 5 questions
  • Refreshing your plan
  • Action plan discussion
16:00 Close



Malcolm Powers is a former Councillor and Cabinet Member in a Unitary Authority. He has over fifteen years experience delivering training to to local government members and community campaigners. He specialises in communications at all levels and stakeholder engagement.

Who should attend?

The course will be relevant to both councillors and officers involved in using social media for their organisation and those that wish to wish to develop their skills in this area.  Elected members will also benefit whether coming from a ward perspective or as a cabinet member and policy maker.