How should CAB use Social Media to engage effectively within communities?

There is a  temptation for organisations like ours dipping their toe into the world of social media to take the safe route of using the medium as a vehicle to impart corporate messages or service information  which in itself may be  useful , but is it what today’s communities want?. The top down approach whilst worthy  lacks  the involvement inherent in engagement and it is this we want to achieve. William Perrin in his blog http://talkaboutlocal.org.uk/mutualsupportforums/ asks the question  “can advice providers tap into the potential of self help networks online”  and  whilst recognising that   “top down advice cannot be replaced by horizontal forums ” good mutual support forums can be very powerful  . The inclusiveness  and supportivity of these sites is what we are trying to achieve  whilst maintaining the integrity , trust , and reputation of our service. How can we achieve this balance?

 

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About northamptoncabcommunitylink

I am working on a project with Northampton & District Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB). CAB's were established in the centre of towns and cities across the UK to operate at the heart of local communities, bringing practical benefits to people, many of whom are disadvantaged and socially excluded. Since then population growth and the development of urban sprawl, has meant town and city centres are no longer the main focal point for large groups of residents, and rural communities are even further removed from our services. Our project will explore the use of digital technologies to target and engage hard to reach communities , and establish a sustainable, well utilised advice services presence as part of a virtual community – in short, the creation of ‘Your Neighbourhood CAB’. Face to face advice services are expensive to provide, and therefore CAB is not able to maintain a physical presence at the heart of every local community. In this current economic climate and rapidly changing social scene, we need to find innovative ways to reduce costs, and bring outreach services into the 21st century, maximising access via social media (Facebook & Twitter) and other digital communications channels. Establishing our presence as an informed guest supplier in community space is one our main aims ,and we welcome the opportunity to be part of the Northants Community web forum project. The final phase of our project will then use the relationships and presence established in local communities to trial remote webcam/SKYPE access to confidential advice services.
This entry was posted in Advice, Charity, Citizens, Community, Help, Northampton, Support, Uncategorized, Voice. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to How should CAB use Social Media to engage effectively within communities?

  1. Keith Haynes says:

    This facility can only be good for cascading information to communities and communities can provide valuable feedback in return.

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