Kingston City Council embraces social media

Kingston Council in Victoria has actively engaged with the many forms of social media, recognising them as powerful and strategic forces of communication in the contemporary world.

Over the past 18 months, Council has encouraged the use of a wide variety of social media platforms, including blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Yammer, YouTube, Wiki and Linked In.

In order to create a level of acceptance and understanding about social media amongst staff, Kingston implemented a detailed training program and created the Social Media Centre, a centralised site where employees can access all things social media. 

Through the training programs, employees have access to informal lunchtime sessions, facilitated workshops, and there are detailed training guides to help them embrace and utilise social media. Kingston has also created a social media video, which is included in the mandatory privacy training that educates employee about their responsibilities when using social media.

Hosted on Councilís Intranet, the Social Media Centre allows employees to learn about social media in their own time and at their own pace. The Centre highlights those areas of Council that are using social media in a very clear, transparent and accessible way, thereby avoiding confusion and encouraging other teams to get on board.

Kingston has conducted five facilitated workshops so far, to explain Facebook, Twitter, Yammer, YouTube and Wiki. Attendance was strong at each of the workshops, and employees reported feeling more confident about exploring and using the new mediums.

By creating access to and empowering staff with the appropriate knowledge and skills, Kingston Council employees have been able to embrace social media and effectively engage with the new forms of communicating with colleagues, residents and the community.