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Slide Notes

Essential skills for social media in government

Skills are what make us special and keep us ahead of the pack.

Let's have a look at some fictional characters from TV and cinema, what skills make them special?

36 essential skills for digital comms pros

Published on Nov 18, 2015

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36 essential skills

FOR digital comms pros in GOVERNMENT
Essential skills for social media in government

Skills are what make us special and keep us ahead of the pack.

Let's have a look at some fictional characters from TV and cinema, what skills make them special?
Photo by sciencesque

Walter White

meth cook, criminal mastermind
In Breaking Bad, former Chemistry teacher Walter White knows how to cook perfect crystal meth, is an expert liar and learns how to become a ruthless criminal mastermind.

Katniss Everdeen

thinks outside the box, expert archer
In The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen can think outside the box and is a highly skilled archer, hunter, and trapper.

Jack and Chloe

too many skills to list!
In 24, Jack skills include firearms, hand to hand combat, explosives, flying helicopters, resistance to torture and Spanish.

Chloe is exceptionally intelligent, works well under pressure and has extraordinary computer science skills.

play a starring role?

what skills do we need to
What skills do we need to play a starring role in our organisations?
Photo by JD Hancock

1) passion

for social media
Have a passion for social media. Live and breathe it. Know its strengths – and its limitations.
Photo by kaniths

2) be a champion

for social in your organisation
Be a champion for social in your organisation. Have the ability to add value to all aspects of what your organisation does.
Photo by bertop

share the lollies

roll out social to frontline staff
Encourage others to take up digital – as my mate Dan Slee would say, share the lollies: http://commsr.us/19L8hLa
Photo by gadl

3) monitor issues online

hashtags, google alerts
Know how to monitor issues online: hashtags, hyperlocals, social media, forums, online newspaper comments. Know how to set up Google Alerts. http://commsr.us/19TTqye
Photo by mikecogh

4) measure

know how and what to
Know how and when to measure.

Google Analytics / Facebook Insights / Bit.ly / Tweetreach


5) learn about
Learn about mapping.

Use Google Maps to create, share and embed your own map. Also have a look at Openstreetmap.

open data

6) learn about
Learn about open data.

Tim Berners-Lee: The year open data went worldwide is an essential piece of viewing.

Photo by justgrimes

social media

7) know how to use
Know how to use social media sites and apps (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest at a minimum) with your eyes closed.

social media

8) be able to help colleagues with
Be able to talk colleagues through using social media sites and apps (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest at a minimum) with your eyes closed.
Photo by kevin dooley

9) horizon scan

for new apps and social networks
Horizon-scan for new apps and social networks and their possible uses.

Create a personal account, play and learn.

10) social media

for all staff
Have compelling arguments at the ready for why all employees should have access to social media.

Check out the section on Barrier vaulting on Best by WM http://bit.ly/14rY5UG
Photo by Kris Olin

timely interesting content

11) have the ability to create
Be able to create timely, interesting content for social media. Know what content works on different platforms.
Photo by Templestream


12) create a social media
Know how to create a social media calendar for your organisation. http://commsr.us/16Hfi3u
Photo by photosteve101

13) segments

create segments that support your goals
Some of the segments we have used on Redland City's social media include:

Flashback Friday: historic images on social media

Redland Local / redlandsanyday: Crowdsourced photos of the Redlands

Environmental segments: Magpie Monday, Weed of the Week

Storm warnings: posting storm warnings to grow an audience for disaster management communications

For more information, see my presentation Building an online community in Redland City: http://commsr.us/1tpkwGj
Photo by eltpics

14) social hub

know how to create one
Know what a social hub is and how to use one. Have a look at Tint and Stackla.

Take a look at the Brisbane City Council website: they have integrated a social hub into their home page and it's looks fantastic!

15) know html

Know HTML – good enough to mark-up copy with headings and paragraphs, add links and images using only text. If you have no HTML experience, it’s actually very easy to learn. Honestly. Have a butcher’s at W3School’s HTML tutorial.

Photo by schoschie

content management

16) know about
Understand how content management systems work. Be able to add, edit and tag a post on WordPress or similar content management system. If you have no experience with this, sign up for a free WordPress site and then check out the free WordPress Lessons.

Photo by Kalexanderson

web usability

17) have an understanding of
Have an understanding of web usability principles – read Steve Krug’s excellent Don’t make me think and subscribe to Gerry McGovern’s brilliant weekly email.


Photo by ntr23

web accessibility

18) have an understanding of
Have a basic understanding of web accessibility principles. Start by reading How People with Disabilities Use the Web and then browse the excellent Emergency 2.0 Wiki Accessibility Toolkit which features resources about how people with disabilities use social media.

Photo by itjil

search engine optimisation

19) have an understanding of
Know about search engine optimisation (SEO). Check out the awesome The Beginners Guide to SEO.

Photo by SEOPlanter

online surveys

20) know about
Know about online surveys. Sign up for a free Survey Monkey account and create your own surveys. Check out the SurveyMonkey Help Centre.

Photo by HowardLake


21) know about
Know about e-newsletters. Analyse the e-newsletters you receive – what makes a good one? Learn more at the MailChimp Knowlege Base.

Photo by Leo Amato


22) learn how to take a good photo
Be able to take a photo using a SLR or smartphone for a variety of different uses. Yes iPhone photography is good enough for many purposes.

Read about my own realisation of this in:

Why your smartphone is the best camera http://commsr.us/15GHsL3


23) Learn about
Use Photoshop to resize and make basic corrections to images. Understand the difference between print and web.

There’s some great help at 35 Basic Tutorials to Get You Started with Photoshop: http://commsr.us/1hc64LG
Photo by paul bica

24 ) be able to source photos

Understand how to source photos, including crowdsourcing and creative commons.

Check out the Quick Reference Guide to Finding Creative Commons Material: http://commsr.us/1bomnHO
Photo by laubarnes


25) know how to record a
Know how to record a video, publish it and embed it on a website or blog.

This can either be recorded video or live-streaming video.
Photo by bibendum84

audio clip

26) know how to record an
Know how to record an audio clip, publish it and embed it on a website or blog. Often audio is overlooked, it shouldn't be.

I recorded a Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) public information officer using 2 iPhones and published it to SoundCloud. It was picked up by Brisbane radio 4BC and used as a new operational bulletin on the QFES website.

Have a look at Dan Slee’s SOCIAL SOUND: Can We Use Audioboo In Local Government? http://commsr.us/1bZTdy9
Photo by Uncalno

27) Data visualisation

Learn about data visualisation and when to use them – infographics, pie charts and other visual stuff. Read 7 data visualisation sites to insprire your creative eye: http://commsr.us/1bpUNXb

Plain English

28) be able to write in
Write in a clear, concise manner using Plain English for a variety of channels.The South Australian Government have published an excellent Plain English guide in PDF: http://commsr.us/1bjl1Ot

key messages

29) be able to summarise
Have the ability to summarise information and pick out key messages.
Photo by Robby Ryke

political landscape

30) understand your organisation's
Understand the political landscape of your organisation.
Photo by VinothChandar

out of hours

31) be ready to respond
Be ready to respond out-of-hours. Communications is not a 9-5 gig.
Photo by Mylla

community engagement

32) know the basics of
Know the basics of community engagement. Spend some time with your community engagement team and volunteer for offline engagement activities. It will give you a better insight into things you can try in the digital space.
Photo by tedxabq

customer service

33) know the basics of
Know the basics of customer service. Spend some time with your customer service team to see how they respond to customer service requests and questions. Invaluable when replying to a request for service at 9pm on a Friday night.
Photo by garryknight

crisis comms

34) know about 
Understand what crises / disasters / emergencies can affect your organisation.

For more details about social media in emergencies, check out these links.

Social media in emergencies: http://commsr.us/1wp5lkL

Social media in emergencies: 50 thoughts, concepts and quotes from #aemicx14: http://commsr.us/1ojyHxE

How one council battled Australian bushfires using social media: http://commsr.us/1niDoZ8

build relationships

35) be able to
Be able to build relationships and work with technical and non-technical people alike. Act as a bridge between the two.

communities of practice

36) join
Join communities of practice. Follow like-minded people on Twitter, join local social media or content groups, attend unconferences, reach out to peers for a regular chat, share your knowledge by writing for commsgodigital.
Photo by Scoobay

There is no degree

in social media
There's no degree in social media.
Photo by mkhmarketing

Learn from others

Twitter / linkedin / blogging
Learn from others - share your thoughts and knowledge on Twitter, LinkedIn and by blogging.

If you work in a communications, social media, community engagement or digital-related role and have an idea for a blog post, get in touch!

Email hello@commsgodigital.com.au or send me a DM to @commsgodigital or @mattbrisvegas

Check out our blogging guidelines: http://commsr.us/write4cgd
Photo by Amir Kuckovic

Share your knowledge

give away everything you know
"Give away everything you know and more will come back to you." Paul Arden

Share your knowledge.
Photo by nan palmero


blogs for public sector people
Please check out commsgodigital: blogs for public sector comms / social media / community engagement / digital people.


If you love #comms #digital and #socialmedia, sign up for our email newsletter: http://commsr.us/1ytT95K

Untitled Slide

Some other presentations you might like...

Setting up social media: 10 questions for your organisation: http://commsr.us/1nBAhM1

Untitled Slide

Some other presentations you might like...

Building an online community in Redland City: http://commsr.us/1tpkwGj

Untitled Slide

Some other presentations you might like...

Social media in emergencies: http://commsr.us/1wp5lkL


Thanks for viewing! I'm Matt Murray.

Senior Adviser, Digital Communications
for Redland City Council.


Please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn