Best Practice Guide for MPs Using Twitter for Open Up! – Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy

Photo of Open Up! Report of the Speaker's Commission for Digital Democracy reportOpen Up! is the title and the sentiment of the report from the Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy in the UK. The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) was asked to submit a report to the commission, which I was asked to write,  on how national politicians should use Twitter. The full CIPR submission is available on the commission’s website and I’ve also published it on Scribd (embedded below).

It’s very much a first draft and I’ve already received some valuable feedback from fellow PR professionals, MPs and other politicians. If you have any ideas for additions and improvements then please share them in the comments and I’ll credit you with any that I incorporate into the second draft which will be properly designed with infographics and photos!

Best Practice Guide for MPs Using Twitter

The full Open Up! report is well worth reading as it makes lots of valuable recommendations on how democracy can be improved and enhanced by digital and social technology.

By way of background it’s relevant to explain that I’ve been involved in political social media almost since it’s inception. In 2003 I was one of the first politicians in the UK to blog – the first councillor, but beaten by then Liberal Democrat MP Richard Allan (now European director of policy for Facebook) and Labour MP Tom Watson. I’ve been using Twitter since January 2007 and ran what was probably one of the UK’s first ever Twitter campaigns for Alan Johnson MP when he was running to be elected as deputy leader of the Labour Party. Since then I’ve advised numerous politicians and government departments all around the world on the use of social media and digital communications including the European Parliament and EU agencies.

6 Replies to “Best Practice Guide for MPs Using Twitter for Open Up! – Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy

  1. This is excellent – especially the Top10!

    I have a few minor remarks:
    1) Deleting tweets – I’d prefer to delete a tweet if it has a typo in it, and then re-post the same, corrected. Views on that?
    2) Twitter is about now. Life is too short to go back to read old tweets, with the exception of your @-replies. I think you could do with some more on this – what you should *always* read. Also I am rather annoyed at politicians who often point blank ignore every @-reply they receive, even if it’s useful or relevant. That is not a good thing to do.
    3) Politicians are going to use Twitter on phones a lot – so you need a small section on that under apps. Tweetbot (iOS) and Fenix (Android) deserve a mention.
    4) I’ve never really understood the value of verified accounts now, so you can probably shorten that bit – explain what it is, but essentially it’s not central.
    5) Use of text based filters, and muting users, can also help keep Twitter manageable. And as Chiara Venturini tweeted, go easy on the Block button.

  2. I am having trouble viewing this in Chrome, please can you send me a copy via email.

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