Case study: LGA's #OurDay shines light onto lives of local authorities, reaching nearly 30m

The Local Government Association (LGA) co-ordinated another annual 24-hour tweetathon designed to give consumers a look into the 'secret life' of local authorities, reaching an audience of nearly 30 million and trending on Twitter.

The LGA's #OurDay social campaign reached nearly 30 million
The LGA's #OurDay social campaign reached nearly 30 million

This year’s #OurDay campaign, on 20 November, marked the organisation'a seventh annual event. Devised to attract public and central government attention to the part played by local authorities, it illustrates "the breadth of services that they provide around the clock to improve the quality of life of residents, despite a challenging financial backdrop", according to LGA digital content manager Josh Warwick.

Councils across England and Wales were encouraged to share their work in a fun and engaging way, using videos, polls, imagery, memes and games. Running from midnight to midnight, councils, fire authorities and partner organisations collectively documented a day in the life of local authorities, their workers and the services they provide.

Participants included park wardens, care providers, road-repair workers, bin collectors, librarians, food-safety inspectors, dog rescuers, wedding registrars, public-health workers, council workers and councillors.

Twitter trending

In 2017, 'Our Day' involved nearly 14,000 local authority contributors and resulted in 45,083 tweets, with an estimated reach of 31 million people, marking a huge uplift on 2012’s inaugural event, which reached about 750,000 people.

This year’s activity may not have attained the heights of last year’s, but nevertheless achieved 36,100 tweets carrying the #OurDay hashtag posted by 11,447 people in 24 hours. It reached 27.8 million people and reached number four in worldwide Twitter trends.

The campaign drew support from public sector organisations beyond councils, including NHS England, the London Fire Brigade and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. #OurDay trended during the day, with even Twitter itself tweeting about the campaign.

The LGA published 148 tweets of its own and reached more than 419,000 people (including 382,724 organic impressions and 10,431 promoted impressions). Three promotional email bulletins were published, reaching about 42,256 people; 29 videos attracted more than 32,100 views; the #OurDay web page received more than 9,000 visits; and the top #OurDay tweet garnered 40,344 impressions and more than 591 engagements.

The campaign also drew extensive media coverage – for example, LGA deputy chairman David Simmonds was interviewed on BBC Radio London about the success of #OurDay.

The LGA has produced a round-up video of this year’s #OurDay.

A ‘deeper understanding’

Eleanor Taylor, the LGA digital communications officer who ran this year’s campaign, said: "A common challenge for any council communications department is how to convey the depth and breadth of services provided – and #OurDay is the perfect opportunity to do that.

"In an era of dwindling resources and efficiency savings, #OurDay is also a chance to take a less formal tone, and an opportunity to use fun and humour to celebrate local government and the officers, councillors and volunteers who keep services running."

Taylor said that one of the defining traits of ‘Our Day’ is the lack of negative comments, with just a "handful during the entire 24 hours".

"Often, the only reference points that the public have with councils are around issues like bin collection, council tax and potholes, so #OurDay is a chance to engage with people in a different way, creating a deeper understanding of how services are run and by whom," she added.

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