Last night I attended the Cornwall Social Media Cafe (CSMC) monthly meeting. This month it was hosted by Cornwall Council at County Hall. The aim of the CSMC is to bring together people from different fields who are interested in social media.
I was asked by Cornwall Council’s communication team if I would like to talk about social media from a councillors view and how it can be used to communicate with people. The communication team also talked about how this form of communication was used corporately.
I have to say since ‘twittergate‘ broke; Cornwall Council has seen the value social media can have in explaining the role of Cornwall Council, and trying to de-mystify what actually goes on at County Hall. It has not always got it right, but it is heading in the right direction.
During the question and answer session on how Cornwall Council, and those elected to it use social media. A point was raised that all meetings should be webcast; maybe not live, but available in an archive. It was felt this would give a better understanding on how the council comes to a decision. It said it would add to the feeling the council was indeed open and transparent.
Many other local authorities has shunned social media, or tried to ban it. I feel this is a mistake as they should embrace it like Cornwall Council have. For example Cornwall Council’s website is listed in the top 4 local authority website in the UK. The webcast is one of the largest watched (live or archived) compared to other authorities. Furthermore, the council also tries to answer as many inquires as possible it receives from the likes of Twitter and Facebook.
Granted there are those out their who think social media is a waste of money, but you cannot knock Cornwall Council for trying to communicate with people using new and innovative ways. Try following Cornwall Council on Twitter @cornwallcouncil