#walsall24: How a council overcame the ‘no-one understands what we do’ dilemma

Just a quick mention for #walsall24, a 24-hour tweeting project from Walsall Council.

A bit like Greater Manchester Police’s tweetathon last year, the 24 hour tweeting operation from Walsall Council aimed to show people just what the council does.

Unlike the GMP live tweet, Walsall Council appears to have encouraged staff to use their own Twitter accounts to send updates, using the hashtag of #walsall24. This removes the risk of one account being suspended for issuing too many tweets at one time.

The array of things the council deals with during the course of 24 hours is fascinating, and the tweets can be viewed on the Express and Star site’s widget here.

One of the complaints I’ve often heard from council officers is that the complaining public ‘don’t realise everything we do.’

That’s certainly probably the case when it comes to discussing council cuts – the impact is likely to be felt in places way beyond what most people would consider the reach of councils.

As it is, it’s good to see  a council do something to act on the complaint that the public don’t know what they do – so hats off to Walsall for doing this so well.

A Storify wrap of key tweets from the day has been put together by Sarah Hartley of The Guardian. It makes the point that some have asked just how many people in Walsall will have seen the tweets.

To me, that’s where the mainstream media comes into its own. As with GMP’s 24-hour tweetathon, while those of us on Twitter will have watched it live, many more will have seen it through the coverage of the Manchester Evening News and the BBC. If the council can provide the material, then the media should be able to do a lot with it.


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