Fresh from chairing a one-day government and social media conference plus running a half-day workshop for participants, Dionne Lew chats with Trevor Young about the challenges and opportunities for government communications teams when it comes to social media.

What became apparent very quickly to Dionne during the conference were the challenges government PR and comms people faced in using social media, specifically governance and crisis management.

Strong governance is vital for governments as they have to be highly sensitive to how they spend public money.

What governance is involved on social platforms? Tight policies are important in regulating spokespersons of an organisation.

The culture and leaders will generally dictate how social media is used.

Who is in charge of social media in governments? Tends to be corporate affairs representatives reporting to executive teams.

Government organisations continue to question the necessity and the relevance of social media.

A social media crisis is not well understood from a social media perspective and knowing the correct hashtags to use is essential.

What opportunities exist in government social media? Micro-content should be utilised and focus should stem away from broadcast. Real time communication is effective in creating a humanised experience. It is fast, easy and generally free.  


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