Please enter the URL that you'd like to shorten or click here to shorten current:
Belinda Hayes is the Web Communications Manager for the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) in the Victorian Government
The Gov 2.0 conference is being held in Canberra 3 - 4 November, 2010.
• Please briefly describe your role and responsibilities in the organisation
My role is web communications manager at DSE. DSE is a Victorian Government Department which oversees Sustainability and Environment – it covers a broad range of areas. My role is Web Comms Manager for the whole department. I'm tasked with looking after the web communications team, part of the communications branch at DSE, and I manage the integration of web marketing and social media as a comms channel and provide strategic advice to our clients, the department, on web marketing and social media comms
• When did your department start adopting web 2.0 and social media tools? What were the stages involved in getting to where you are now?
It's reasonably new for DSE. My team came on in January 2010 so it's eight or nine months old. There are three of us so there's a Web Communications Manager and two Web Communications Advisors. Over the past eight or nine months it's been the set-up phase and that's been working out what we need to do and what was appropriate for the department. We then looked at how to integrate it in to the rest of the departments' communications.
We went ahead and briefed the secretary of the department on how this could work, once the business case had been put forward for there to be a web comms team, and briefed the secretary on what that meant on the ground and who should be doing it and how. We also set up a business rule for the department. It was kept around some short and sweet principles for staff, rather than a cumbersome set of policies that wouldn't get used. The other thing is that the VPS, the Victorian Public Service Code of Conduct, can be referenced back to. If someone is being inappropriate on Facebook in the work environment then it's the same as any other comms, so the Code of Conduct covers off a lot of those things.
We communicated a lot on this internally to staff, which is an ongoing thing. We launched our business rule and what we were doing on the intranet. We also go along to induction training so any new staff that are inducted in to DSE get a briefing on how they should interact with social media. We're very aware that a lot of people are already using social media and it's very grey as to what's personal and what's work these days.
The Gov 2.0 Action Plan for Victoria was launched just recently and we like to think we're a little ahead of the game now because we've opened up our channels of social media and started on this path already. It's really now about hanging our hat on the Action Plan and working out the best ways to integrate and be really strategic about it.
• What was involved in the training and up-skilling of staff in social media and web 2.0 tools? What considerations were made when integrating Gov 2.0 strategies in to the existing communications strategy?
The web comms team obviously have specific social media skills and that's why we're here but we've been working with the broader comms team in this area as it needs to be a part of how they're planning for their communications and working with their clients.
One of the things that has really taken off with the department is our YouTube Channel. The tools that we launched recently, along with that, is a Flickr Photo stream, a Twitter account and we're looking at Facebook as well to see how we can use that as a channel.
But what that has really taken off is that we trained a number of our comms team in filming and editing so we could populate our YouTube channel which has really been successful and well used. We've had a number of instances already where the channel has integrated really well with the rest of the channels and has been pushed out to the media so that's one area where we're really trying to up-skill our staff and put them through professional filming and editing training to achieve that.
Also, in terms of social media in general, we're running training for the whole department. We're going to be doing an online training module on social media so it'll be quite a short, sharp thing around the business rule. We'll be working with our learning and development team on that and it'll be mandatory for all staff to do. The other thing we're doing is running a kind of road show on social media for the department which will be based in Melbourne CBD, but we also have a number of regional offices across Victoria so we've put together a schedule of events and will go and travel around Victoria and talk to staff about social media and show them some case studies about what we've already done and how they could be using it and educating staff that way. We're trying to put a really positive spin on it as well because being such a big department, there's such a broad range of understanding and skills in what social media is and how it can be used.
• Gov 2.0 has been explained as "sharing information and engaging with citizens to determine better ways of doing things"- on an implementation level, can you describe an example of where this kind of community engagement has been achieved?
In terms of engaging with the community with Web 2.0, I'll talk about one we did just recently. It's bird swooping season at the moment so we've initiated a campaign based around a Google Map and we have a Twitter hashtag set up, an email address and web pages so people can tweet or email in locations of where they've been swooped. That's the first time we've used something like that (used a Google map) and really engaged with the community in that way and that's gone really well. We've had around 95,000 clicks on the map so far. We didn't know it would be that well received so we're really pleased. We're nearly up to 100,000 hits actually. We were also working with the Leader newspaper on it so it's really starting to integrate successfully.
• How did you view the adoption of web 2.0 tools within the recent federal election? What stood out for you? What could have been done better?
I think in general, politicians have taken quite well to Twitter but it's still really about pushing the messages out there as far as I can see – I'm not as sure that conversations are necessarily happening on social media and really using that information as much as they possibly could.
Belinda Hayes is presenting at the Gov 2.0 Conference on 3 - 4 November 2010 at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra.
Gov 2.0 2010 gathers a high profile group of Australian and international experts in the use of Web 2.0 tools in the public sector sphere.
This interactive, one-day event will share advice and experience on the practical implementation of Gov 2.0 principles and help you move towards the goal of open government.
Find out more by visiting The Gov 2.0 conference site.
Enter your email address to subscribe or unsubscribe from the eGov What's New mailing list.
Please enter email address of the person you wish to send this page to.