Kate Carruthers is a marketer, technologist and educator with experience as a senior manager, currently working within the health industry as Digital and Community Manager for Genea. Her focus is on innovation and the integration of new technology and business practices into core business operations. She is interested in social innovation, social entrepreneurship and is the co-founder of Social Innovation Sydney.
Kate is speaking at the CeBIT Gov 2.0 Conference, to be held in Canberra on October 23-24 2012, about Technology Integration to Deliver Effective Gov2.0 Plans – Assessing Risk versus Benefits.
Issues raised will include how can you mitigate risk while still adopting and integrating diverse tools for your Gov 2.0 activities and what steps can you take to deliver benefits effectively?
Kate says that management attitudes are important as is setting up appropriate policy frameworks and infrastructure to enable trusted people to do social media work. If staff are already media trained then they should be allowed to do social media, but not without clear rules of engagement.
The real challenge at present for public sector staff is balancing the need to embrace social media channels for communication and engagement with the need to minimise risk.
There are several risks including
- Information that you don’t want to get out will get out
- People may not engage constructively
- Insufficient resources
Drawing on her extensive experience in senior private and public sector roles, Kate will offer practical advice and low cost suggestions for addressing these risks.
The public service is fully optimised for dealing with letters to the minister, which are logged, tracked and responded to within a set timeframe. Social media doesnt have those processes or mechanisms. Also the operational tempo of more traditional communication is days and weeks whereas social and online is minutes and seconds.
Replies to letters are expected within a few weeks, however an email, tweet or facebook message is expected to be responded to much sooner. Say the person responsible for a government social media account leaves work at 5pm on a Friday, if a question is raised online at 530pm and remains unanswered during the weekend, it could escalate into a firestorm by Monday morning.