Home > Uncategorized > UK Councils Monthly Social Media Reputation Index – June 2010

UK Councils Monthly Social Media Reputation Index – June 2010

This month’s report comes hot on the heels of the LGA Annual Conference (#lgaconf).
Eric Pickles (@ericpickles) set the tone for the conference – reinforcing previous messages including those of doing away with the burden of central government targets and returns – Music to our GovMetric (@govmetric) and CouncilMonitor (@councilmonitor) ears where our philosophy is all about measuring the things that make a difference to improving frontline service provision imp – not to populate data returns to Westminster.
We also had the opportunity to attend the Midlands SOLACE event in June – where Dom Campbell (@dominiccampbell) and Alex Aiken both ran stimulating and informative sessions.

Alex was launching the LGA’s New Reputation Guide which is an excellent resource. One of the elements contained within it is the Reputation Index. We were interested to see how social media reputation compares to the metrics gathered in the index – by way of comparison we took the highest scoring councils for ‘Overall Council Satisfaction’ from the Index – and compared their CouncilMonitor sentiment scores (based on average score over last 6 months).

Reputation Index and CouncilMonitor comparisson

Reputation Index and CouncilMonitor comparisson

The CouncilMonitor Sentiment Score is derived from a Sentiment Classifier for all online mentions – and scores sentiment on a scale of -10 to +10 – Not surprisingly the above councils are all in positive territory with Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea scoring 3.4 . By way of benchmark most councils usually fall between -2 and +2. We hope to do more cross analysis of these indices next month.

Anyway, on to the numbers and observations for June.  As per previous months we’ll start with the  total monthly buzz chart – i.e. the total amount of mentions and references to UK councils online.

UK Councils Total Buzz- June 2010

UK Councils Total Buzz- June 2010

The total volume of ‘buzz’ continues to grow – but there is a caveat to explore / be aware of. The next chart shows the breakdown of the media mix. Over the last 2 months we had started to see Twitter extend a lead over News sources – partly because of the rapid growth of Tweeters – partly because events like the general election created a significant amount of tweeting.

However, this month we see a huge increase in News. The change was so dramatic we figured there must be something going on.

UK Councils Media Mix- June 2010

UK Councils Media Mix- June 2010

The issue is related to local newspaper groups such as Johnston Press who have 319 local website titles usually with the format http://www.<locality>today.com . Within their online publishing platform they are syndicating references regarding a specific council across other titles in their group – so articles relating to Westminster parking are also showing up in their regional and local titles.

For next month we will consider whether any such duplicates should be excluded (we need to think whether they should stay if they are a national view of a Local Authority’s online coverage – views welcome please!) – but for now we reckon removing these duplicates would reduce the News references in the above chart to around the 3000ish mark again – which would still put News back in the lead.

Part of the reason for this would also be the Budget and the amount of news coverage around this.  I mentioned last month we would start to look more at the trends relating to council service references online.

UK Council Buzz Spikes - June 2010

UK Council Buzz Spikes - June 2010

We can see several ‘spikes’ in the lead up to and after the budget on 22nd June.

  • Benefits – concerns re benefits allowances in a harsher economic climate
  • Planning – Lots of references to the news that RDAs will definitely be abolished.
  • Housing – Housing Benefits cuts concerns

Lets look now at the top 5 councils in each category – ranked by volume but also showing sentiment.

Top 5 Councils per category

Top 5 Councils per category

Worthy of mention here are certain events which have had a big impact:

Kirklees – Review of the Shannon Matthews case makes national headlines again.

Kirklees June June 2010

Kirklees June June 2010

Braintree – Fans invited to big screen viewing of football enabled by the council – very popularly received.

Braintree June 2010

Braintree June 2010

Essex – Expenses politicians in appeal bid (Lord Hanningfield) again.

Essex June 2010

Essex June 2010

Notes.

Images and chart data may be used provided CouncilMonitor are credited accordingly.

For a more comprehensive service description please look at www.councilmonitor.com/about .

Monthly Buzz Index methodology – Details can be found here

About CouncilMonitor – CouncilMonitor trawls the Internet 24 hours a day, seven days a week, searching through news, blogs, forums and social media sites. It reads through all of this information and summarises what’s being said about UK councils, and can even tell you whether the sentiment is positive or negative (similar to the election worm we have seen at #leadersdebate). The service was launched in December 2009 so is still quite early on, but by measuring a benchmark group of councils on a consistent basis we hope to be able to provide some national trend information relating to what people are saying about their councils – and how they choose to say it.

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