We know that social media is a hot topic but could it also help the public sector in the challenges it faces over the next two years?
UK under pressure
The next two years will see a dramatic change in the public sector, with all the UK’s main political parties admitting that they are committed to reducing the mounting national deficit. With the UK’s AAA rating still in the balance and a decision whether to downgrade the UK’s rating being deferred to after the next election, the pressure is on to demonstrate a credible plan for cutting costs.
Reduce public spending
Whoever gets into office at the next general election will be forced to reduce public spending and this looks pretty grim for most departments within the public sector.
Sustainability and cost savings
So how will these departments respond? Despite the inevitable cost cutting and potential staff reductions, the search is on for producing community information and creating customer engagement through more affordable and sustainable communication channels.
How can social media help?
I believe that the development of social media could play an important part. Provided local government invests in strategic thinking, segments its audience and thinks in terms of campaign management, the social networking channels provide a cost effective method of delivering demand lead communications.
Building quality networks
Social networking channels provide an excellent way of engaging with communities without becoming intrusive provided you build a quality network and provide good content that is valued by the members of the network.