Poor digital performance at striking councils

Councils made patchy use of digital technology to keep citizens informed during the recent public sector strike.

UK councils made patchy use of digital technology to keep its citizens up to date with the impact of the public sector strike on services.

Almost a quarter (22%) of UK councils made excellent use of digital technology to keep citizens informed about service disruptions during the recent public sector strike.

But nearly as many (18%) provided no coverage.

These councils harnessed website to provide information with social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook used to keep people informed in real-time.

The study from Socitm Insight monitored 206 councils for the two days running up to the 30 November strike and the day itself.

The survey tested whether a Google search led to useful information, and whether citizens were guided to updates on social media channels Twitter and Facebook.

Forty eight websites (22%) were able to answer at least five of the six questions related to the strike, while 38 councils (18%) made no reference at all to the strike at all.

Only 24 of the councils tested (12%) use social networking channels to communicate updates. “Given the high TV and press coverage anticipating the impact of the strike on users of public services, it would seem to be an obvious duty on all councils to have put in place means to communicate this effectively,” said Martin Greenwood of Socitm Insight.

‘While the actual impact on many services may not have been clear until the day itself, some communication by every council to show how it would be managing the situation might have been expected. This contrasts with the excellent coverage of service disruptions caused by severe weather this time last year.”

Photo courtesy of WhiteAct

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