Social media and councils – the point is?

January 19, 2011

As usual, thanks to Nic Streatfeild for keeping me up-to-date with UK Councils Social Media Reputation Index – December 2010. Living where I do and seeing some of the ‘tweets’, I now realise why some of the scores are as high as they are! If you Twitter, you will score – it doesn’t matter that what you send out is entirely irrelevant to your population, it’s of no account that you are diluting the twittersphere with near-drivel, the ‘tweets’ add to your score!

In the world of spin, the more press releases one gets to the media and the more they publish, the higher one’s estimation can sometimes be (if only in ‘spin’world). Publishing social media releases for the sake of it, is just the e-extension of that somewhat cynical world.

I hope I know ROL and Nic well enough to realise that is not the intention, it’s just that in my opinion high scoring doesn’t necessarily mean good citizen engagement…

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Voice of the Customer

May 27, 2010

My thanks to Nic Streatfeild, founder of rol Ltd the developers of GovMetric, for an email about his latest posting on his newish blog. Perhaps if I’d kept up with his Tweets I might have realised without the prompt!

GovMetric had the sense to realise that the Internet is not the only channel and so record feedback across the available ones, e.g. web, face-to-face and telephone.

When I started my research Nic was kind enough to meet up in Leicester for a chat about it and even offered access to anonymised data, which in the end I didn’t take up, but they’ve now taken a different approach and created the UK Councils Monthly Buzz Index out of their CouncilMonitor tool! So as well as reporting back citizen feedback via GovMetric they’re also trawling social media for feedback on councils. This seems a little like Professor Ann Macintosh’s IMPACT development work for the EU reported earlier, but focused on specific councils.

This experiment may or may not succeed but if nothing else will reveal some interesting trends across the GovMetric users. Unfortunately, for Nic and GovMetric my council and most of the others in North Yorkshire have signed up with a competitor, CMetrix. It’s nothing personal, just Yorkshire folk being canny with their money. What also may be interesting is when we can compare data across five districts and a county council.

My list of all the similar systems to GovMetric and CMetrix is still available  at Company table V8.


Re: Pete but not a repeat!

April 29, 2008

What a coincidence, just as Pete suggests a pilot, the following report gets published, which actually suggests doing something but wouldn’t it be nice if they piloted it for the rest of us or ran a couple of differing pilots and took up the most successful.

Parliament has today published the Committee of Public Accounts  report on Government on the Internet: Progress in delivering information and services online (16th) HC143

A fascinating document, especially if one reads the committee proceeds at the back!
Two of the key conclusions, from my view –

16% of government organisations have no data about how their websites are being used, inhibiting website developments.

The Government does not know how much it is saving through internet services, nor whethere any savings are being redeployed to improve services for people who do or cannot use the internet.

The Committee has requested improvements for the future but as the dialogue in the committee infers but not the recomendations, these need to bear in mind all channels.

But I’m not too concerned about satisfied customers, although that’s very nice, my thinking (as opposed to the perverse NI14 imagination) is to pick up the disatisfied, the unhappy, the failed customers and find out what pi**ed them off? Great, count the postives as well to get some sort of scale but concentrate on correcting the issues – a rotten ‘phone system, poor navigation on the web site or unhelpful opening times for the reception could affect a channel and if its a lower costing one, cost the council money.

Some of this type of work is being done by Govmetric (rol) as one example and one style, but the MP’s have now picked up on lack of metrics but lets not spend a lot of money doing something silly, lets pilot some well researched, straightforward methods>


Annual research report…

April 19, 2008

Having reached the formal first anniversary of my research ( I’d actually been thinking about it a lot longer, then started it and got delayed by a spell of long-term illnes with heart failure), I thought I’d explain the proposed model and why.

My review of the literature had only revealed some complicated metrics as listed by Andrea di Maio and others, and targets such as National Indicator NI14. Along with that, having been managing an e-government programme I despised the Best Value Performance Indicator 157 and Priority Service Outcomes that had been the targets in England, they were of little value to the public!

I’d picked up the feelings that more recent reviews, such as the Irish lesson pointed to measures and also that customer satisfaction had a big role to play.

Companies like rol have proposed solutions such as govmetric and I think they’re getting there. My approach is to inhibit the use of targets and a pure reliance upon positive or negative feedback is the answer, and what I want from my suggested model.

If a customer/citizen (and there is a lot of debate about how we should view them, including the Cornford/Richter one) is satisfied or otherwise they indicate and leave feedback as to why. The feedback is used to improve the systems…

Simply that – satisfied/dissatisfied – if so, why? We’ll do something about it! Of course, we still need to measure usage of channels, all the channels, but with usage and satisfaction a great deal can be done to improve the service.

The next development is to cater for the customers that aren’t banging upon the door of any channels. Need, as per NWEGG, is one way but improving and simplifying access may stop us pushing the door from the other side?