Home > Uncategorized > UK Councils Social Media Reputation Index September 2010

UK Councils Social Media Reputation Index September 2010

The top 20 councils by sentiment this month are:


Top 20 Sept 2010

Top 20 Sept 2010


A mix of items throughout September contribute to the positive sentiment attributed to Doncaster. These range from a broad spectrum of communications around home childcarer events in the city, some joint activity with NHS Doncaster around Addicts carers support and an announcement from St Leger Homes of Doncaster who are using plastic pipes to replace copper – thereby saving cash, reducing crime and helping the environment!

Breckland Council have also hit the news headlines with their proposed staff smoking policy.  Articles such as “Smokers may have to clock off when they pop outside for a cigarette during working hours” were widely published.  As an example, ITV Anglia picked up on this on their facebook page – and the public response seemed overwhelmingly in support of the councils proposed policy.

This month’s media mix chart shows the continuing rise of blogging as a source of references to councils.


Media sources mix Sept 2010

Media sources mix Sept 2010


This month Torbay also hit the headlines – on the usual favourite subject of…. you’ve guessed it …… bins.

I think this is a really good case study – and one which I’m sure has left citizens, councillors and council officers the wiser. You can follow what happened by googling Torbay bins and reading for yourself. But the things I took out of this were:

The community groups organised themselves very effectively using social media – and targeted this at the council on a specific channel at a specific time – thereby accentuating the impact of their protest.


Torbay bins

Torbay bins


“A BINS telephone hotline ‘crashed’ yesterday as calls from angry Torbay residents topped the 8,000 mark.

Torbay mayor Nick Bye, who had joined dust cart crews on their rounds, revealed that call centre staff had fielded abusive calls and he had heard unsubstantiated reports that a Facebook campaign had been launched to bring the helpline to its knees.”

On a positive note Torbay have responded well. They have been very active in facebook forums and have extended their telephone opening hours to cope with the extra demand. These efforts to respond have been recognised and appreciated.


Torbay Facebook

Torbay Facebook


Also, interestingly an online petition has now been set up at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/torbaygreenrecyclingbins/


Torbay petition

Torbay petition


Whilst September has clearly been painful for Torbay I hope they will get benefit from the experience in the long run – and are probably more informed now on:

  • Engaging with the community in their space – eg facebook etc
  • Responding to the community in an active dialogue
  • Hopefully exploring how future petitions can engage and revitalise local democracy.

Coincidentally last month we spotted a great flowchart resource which would be useful to Councils’ social media responses in dealing with similar issues – courtesy of Charlotte Beckett.


Events – This week we’ll be at Solace 2010 in Cardiff – make sure you use the # tag (#solace2010) if you’re tweeting there!


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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