So how do we create the tipping point for digital collaboration – in Leeds, or anywhere else for that matter? Participating in the recent digital festival, conference and then follow up discussions about the potential for a digital body in Leeds, I’m struck by how far we’ve come and where we might go next…
More than just a hobby – social media is quickly shifting from hobby status to an essential part of the communications mix in many public sector organisations. However, it is by no means universal
Finding the point – the conversation is moving on rapidly from ‘let’s get on Twitter ‘cos they are’ to ‘what’s the purpose and what are we trying to achieve?’
So what? – identifying a purpose inevitably lends itself to asking questions about how we measure whether we’ve achieved what we set out to do. We’re not even being properly held to account for the time and energy we are putting in to our digital presence; or fully understanding for ourselves if the time we’re investing is worthwhile. We need to work out which tools help us to assess our impact both quantitatively and qualitatively
Dispersing the social – it’s not just about the corporate account any more. More individual services are developing their own social media presence. This raises all sorts of fascinating questions about central control versus local autonomy; consistency versus variety –there is a balance to be struck and we’ll work it out collectively as we go
Digital identity – professional guidelines and other social media rules seem to appear on an almost daily basis and we’re thinking more consciously, individually and corporately, about how we behave online and the related consequences
Accessibility – a significant chunk of people with an interest in engaging with public sector organisations, might well be people who are the least likely to be online. We can’t focus efforts on our digital presence without paying attention to reducing the digital divide
Collaboration between ourselves – we’re beginning conversations about how we can support each other and make the most of our limited resources – how can we make our organisational boundaries more permeable and collaborate well? It’s easy to see the challenges but what are the opportunities?
Collaboration with others – we’re beginning to look beyond our immediate public sector door-step and collaborate with digital agencies. For example, bidding for funds to bring digital together with creative and health sectors to improve health outcomes. This approach brings powerful opportunities for the future. How can we develop this further?
You can see the slides from a presentation I recently gave to the Institute of Communications at the University of Leeds here about our on-going digital evolution at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – an example of just one public sector organisation taking our first steps.
We’re only in the infancy of a public sector digital evolution and I’m not sure we’re even standing on all-fours yet. Connecting with the digital sector, not just individually, but collectively, seems like an excellent way to understand what our city has to offer, know who, how and when to collaborate and to do innovative and exciting things collaboratively. I’d love to hear from other public sector and digital agencies in Leeds as well as from other parts of the UK about where we go next. Who’s up for working and learning together?