'Our Day' social-media marathon to lift lid on the work of local authorities

A 24-hour tweetathon aimed at sharing the 'secret life' of local authorities is set to reach an audience of millions next month.

Local authorities join for 24-hour social-media marathon to raise awareness of council services
Local authorities join for 24-hour social-media marathon to raise awareness of council services

The seventh annual #OurDay social-media event on 20 November will shine a light on the people at the heart of local authorities and boost public engagement, according to its organisers the Local Government Association (LGA).

"Last year more people, local authorities and other organisations than ever took part," said David Holdstock, director of comms at the LGA.

"Close to 14,000 contributors posted 45,083 tweets, reaching more than 31 million people."

Launched in 2012, the first annual social-media marathon reached about 750,000 people, but the event has grown dramatically.

In 2015, the tweetathon took place one week before George Osborne's Spending Review to highlight the need to invest in local services.

During last year’s activity the #OurDay hashtag was trending number one in the UK for a large part of the day, as well as trending first worldwide in the English language.

Its aim is to draw public and central Government attention to the value delivered by local authorities and "illustrate the breadth of services that they provide around the clock to improve the quality of life of residents, despite a challenging financial backdrop", said LGA digital content manager Josh Warwick.

"It’s a great opportunity for councillors to show the work they undertake, for officers to highlight the roles they play in keeping services running and for residents to gain a real insight into how councils impact on their lives, every day of the year," he added.

Councils across England and Wales will take the chance to share their work in a more fun and creative way, using videos, polls, images, memes and interactive games.

"The talent and creativity in council comms teams is very much on display during #OurDay," explained Warwick.

"Unsurprisingly, last year video was a popular form of sharing stories, while we also had quizzes, polls, poems and, of course, Doncaster Council’s brilliant interactive 'Be a council officer' game. We can't wait to see what councils come up with this year."

Public engagement is a key feature of the #OurDay campaign, helping to create a deeper understanding of council services and the people behind them, beyond bin collections, council tax and potholes.

Last year’s tweetathon included an A-Z of council services, taken from the 800 services provided each day, while this year local authorities have been challenged to contribute to an A-Z of council staff, championing individuals across the country.

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