The Own Goal Keeper


In a now time-honoured tradition, the recent *Localgovcamp in Birmingham was an unconference format. That is to say, no agenda just empty rooms and sessions waiting to be filled with enthusiastic delegates with an idea to pitch.

I was interested to get some feedback on our newly completed social media guidelines. It’s fair to say that we’d struggled for some time trying to write a strategy whilst keeping up with the ever-changing social media landscape. The breakthrough came when we realised that it’s not about the tools, it’s the culture. And that became our starting point, as I blogged earlier

A view expressed by Monmouthshire’s finest Esko Reinikainen was that we don’t need strategies & policies if we trust our staff to be sensible.  We trust staff to be sensible on the end of a phone or dealing with customers in person; and the truth is, that no one is going to continually reference guidelines before they act. And that’s a fair point.

At an earlier session on local government blogging hosted by Glen Ocsko & Gareth Young of welovelocalgovernment someone raised the point that guidelines and strategies are there for when good times go bad. I’ll borrow from Dan Slee and use a football analogy; as the net when the ball goes behind the keeper. They may not be read on a daily basis but it can be a comfort to staff and managers just to know that they are there…particularly when it’s an own goal.

*Localgovcamp2012 was organised by Dave Briggs from Kind of Digital with a little help from his friends Darren Caveney and Dan Slee of Comms2Point0 and some lovely sponsors.