Social Media to Save Government Money?

Of all the nonsense about social media, I can’t say I have heard it represented as a money saver until I read this interview with Jane Postlethwaite (Social Media Can Save Council Money). Man it’s weird to call a YouTuber buy her full name when you basically barely know her first name. She’s StylistBrighton, damnit (and SytlistBrightonStyle). I met the fashion stylist/model in London, but who knew her name was Postlethewaite?

Anyway the former fashion model and YouTube weblebrity is now the Brighton and Hove City Council Social Media Officer, and she’s opening the UK government’s eyes to using social media to reduce costs. It’s a fair point. When you have 9,000 employees and take 400 calls a day, there’s got to be an efficiency angle… keeping or improving relationships with the public without the burden and cost of mail and phones.

Could social media one day permit these people to see sunlight?

I have a client that receives 500 calls daily in a customer-service department with only about 4 or 5 people. If customers could gain access to basic information (the 80% of the calls that represent the same 10 questions), why shouldn’t social media provide cost offset? ¬†As an example, I no longer call stores to check their hours or directions… Google covers that for me, and its’ faster and has zero cost to me or the company.

So kudos to Jane for being brave enough to enlighten a government office to social media (far braver than me trying to do it for pharmaceutical firms). And extra credit for conceiving it as an efficient channel of communication that can maintain or improve public relations and also reduce calls, letters, lines of people…

One day, when the US catches up, I hope I can update my driver’s license in a single tweet. A girl can have her dreams.

Author: Nalts

Hi. I'm Nalts.

4 thoughts on “Social Media to Save Government Money?”

  1. Woah, calling a store for hours or directions? That’s hard to imagine. Did people really used to do that? I hate doing stuff over the phone.

  2. when you call a government office and even most stores you’ll get a recording that gives you the option to push a number for location and hours of operation.

    What first world country doesn’t run this feature on their telephone system? That tech is like so 80’s.

    The part I hate about telephone information is being transferred over to tech service or billing support housed in another country. I could fill pages ranting about that alone, but I won’t.

    There are costs to using the net
    1. You have to pay monthly for your internet connection and not everyone is wired.
    2. Someone has to update their website and there’s the use of bandwidth so you know that cost is passed on to the consumer.
    3. Some work places block You Tube and anything flash so you’re SOL if that’s your only outlet of communication with the public.

    So don’t fire all those operators yet.

    There’s also the dark side – you put a lot of people with limited skills out of work. That’s a cost to the state and tax payers, unless you want to support a jobs program. Still an added cost.

    If not your state now has fewer jobs for your countrymen; communications no longer has to be local and 2nd world nations are willing to work for less – this lowers the standard of living for everyone across the board.

    Heck, this is a huge problem now for our own economy. Making-a-living-wage-people are now being paid to train foreigners to take their jobs. This always comes back to bite everyone in the end.

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