LINKwithlove

8 essential social media tools

23 tools to create images for social media

Social resharing strategies

A day in the life of a social media manager

The perfect Facebook page

71 ways to write a social media update

Guide to Twitter cards

30 little-known features of popular social media sites

10 cool tools

59 free twitter tools

The internet in real time

Social media policy - A big list

61 best social media tools for small business

Digital engagement cookbook

Why presentations suck

How a comms team could look in 2014

CIPR guide to social media monitoring

10 reasons why councils should embrace Facebook

7 creative Twitter campaigns

Google analytics quick guide

11 tips for more effective online surveys

10 skills the PR pro of 2022 must have

What does it mean to be human in social media?

Digital content standards guide

how to do twitter

twitter sizes and dimensions cheat sheet

50 top tools for social media monitoring

Introducing Yammer to your org

10 reasons to quit your job in 2013

105 Twitter apps for comms people

18 free tools for pr and comms people

the public leader's dilemma: how to become a social organisation

the 3 w's of twitter

social media infographic flowchart

creating digital content for comms

social media integration survey results

28 brilliant social media resources from the University of Warwick

the public are much more reasonable than the media

glasto for geeks

the next web of open, linked data (youtube)

what's an unconference?

top twitter analytics tools

taking your slide deck to the next level

u.s. army social media handbook is here

cipr supports prsa 'pr defined' initiative

how to improve local government communications

econsultancy state of social media report 2011

research: twitter drives more traffic to press releases than facebook

how to respond to criticism online

using digital channels effectively

12 Commandments for Local Government News

search for good stuff ...
search by post ...
« Do one thing on your holiday... switch off | Main | a charles dickens of a good campaign »
Tuesday
Aug072012

another london

London 2012 Olympics has been a chance to showcase the best. It's also showcased the best of central government digital comms in platforms that picked up on the event to show a human face.

by Gillian Hudson

There’s a photography exhibition going on at Tate Britain at the moment called ‘Another London’ and I went along to see it the other day. It’s made up of around 40 black and white photos taken between 1930 and 1980 by photographers who were foreigners to London – Henri Cartier-Bresson and Bill Brandt among them. 

As the photographers were often commissioned for their work, there’s a lot of ‘touristy’ images of the capital – Hyde Park, Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square – and images of Royal Weddings and Jubilee events, flags waving, Pearly Kings and Queens and fancy dress.

It was especially interesting to me as this week I too have been taking photos in Another London, and coincidentally it’s a London occupied by flag wavers, Pearly Kings and Queens and fancy dress.

The Olympic Park in Stratford is about as un-London as I have ever experienced. Forget grumpy people, rushing about and never saying hello or sorry or thankyou, everyone on the park seems infected with an Olympic glow.

Games makers shout hello to people on loudspeakers perched on Wimbledon-style umpire chairs, police chat and laugh with people, often posing for photos. And if you’re female, you’ll most probably have just been greeted with ‘ma’am’ by the member of the armed forces who swiftly got you through security (a thrill I can assure you).

In social media terms this is pure gold. The digital team I’m part of at the Government Olympic Communications team is able to use channels like Twitter and Facebook in a joyful and celebratory way. Our tweets more often than not feature photos taken by myself or colleagues, and we’re also experimenting with sound (using audioboo), Tripline to chart the torch journey, and finally good old stalwart Youtubefor voxpops and more.

Our instagram account in particular is a colourful mosaic of people and places – it’s quirky, fun and peculiar. Take my colleague Julia’s idea to tweet our office countdown to the Olympics from ten to one by instagraming the little posters put on the wall each day.

Another image shows Mick, a PC from West Yorkshire, on his horse Marley. It’s a cute photo with big horsey nostrils in the foreground, but has a really useful message of assurance for people on the park – ‘It’s a big night at the velodrome, so Mick and Marley are on hand to deal with congestion.’ This was posted to Foursquare too for those checking in to the Velodrome on the night Chris Hoy took Gold.

My favourite day on the park so far has been interviewing people for a little film to capture the public’s thoughts about the venues and atmosphere. Not one person I approached said ‘no’ to the chance to say on camera ‘well done’ and ‘thank you’ to the government, police, armed forces, Games Makers, LOCOG, for an unforgettable experience.  This is, I think, unprecedented in the field of voxpopping, and possibly in the field of government communication.

It’s harder than you might think to harness a friendly, joyful tone as a government department on social media. For me, coming from the Home Office and Cabinet Office, fun has just never been on the tweeting agenda.

But it has been a great experience to be positive, fun and friendly,  to react to people and to express emotion – we’ve been excited on Twitter, we’ve celebrated as golds flooded in and commiserated near misses. And that’s because the 2012govuk corporate account is a close to a personal account as I’ve ever worked on.

I think when the Olympics and Paralympics are done, our little 2012govuk - with its excitable tweets and crazy instagram filters - will be a fitting reminder of the joy we all experienced – whether you worked on the Olympics, watched it from the stadium or experienced it via shouting at the telly. 

I hope we’ve been able to tell a slightly different story through our social media channels, celebrating the people and the places associated with London 2012, away from the sport. I think this has worked most successfully with our ‘Beyond 2012’ Tumblr, which focused on a different aspect of the Olympic legacy for 150 days in the run up to the Games. A digital legacy for the Legacy Games perhaps.

To wrap this up, I’ll avoid comparing myself to Henri Cartier-Bresson and will instead turn to a more apt cultural reference. To paraphrase the excellent Jessica Hynes in the BBC’s Twenty Twelve – ‘Awesome job guys! Go us!’ And I do mean everyone.

Gillian Hudson is currently seconded to and is normally a digital campaigns manager in the Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet Office digital comms team. The team is responsible for No.10 site and associated digital presences.

photo credit

The blog has been cross-posted on the Government Communications Network blog here.

You can sign-up for our weekly email. You can do that here.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>