England & Wales

Is social media the best way to communicate during the snow?

A map of where #uksnow is currently trending in the UK

I recently blogged about the success of the Coventry Facebook page.  Its success was largely down to one big, relevant-to-all issue – last winter’s snow storms. The snow-induced chaos meant that local media in Coventry was failing to get up to minute information out. Coventry City Council stepped into the breach and set up the Facebook page to provide quick updates on school closures, service disruptions and the roads.

So, with the snow starting to fall again, it seems a good time for councils to experiment with ways to improve ‘social’ communications and establish themselves as trusted conduits of local information (with increased follower figures).

I have just been speaking to the Blackburn communications team and they said:

“We’re also just found out that our Facebook page BwD Winter has 450 members signed up to receive regular updates about gritting, disruption to services from weather etc but in fact there have been over 2000 individual impressions since it was launched last month.”

Clearly then, there is a desire and need from the public for these council-led information services. I’d love to hear how and what other councils are doing online whilst the snow falls. Please feel free to email me on rob.dale@lgiu.org and tell me what you’re doing.  I’ll then profile responses on the blog.