Billions of pounds are spent by local government every year on 1,200 different services. Everyone. Literally everyone benefits directly or indirectly. But voter turn-out is sometimes a struggle. It is down to imaginative comms teams to harness the social web to encourage people to vote. Then communicate the result.

by Dan Slee

Election coverage compared to a decade ago is transformed.

Ten years ago posting the results in realtime to the council website was as cutting edge as it was possible to get.

Twenty years ago, you had to wait for the local paper to publish the results. Or turn-up at the Council House to inspect the hand-written returns displayed in a noticeboard.


All this has changed. There is an expectation that people want results in realtime.  

Where once Facebook was bold, it is now expected.

Here are a few examples of imaginative comms we saw.

May 4 – Star Wars day – proved rich pickings.

Torfaen Council using Star Wars to encourage people to use their vote

Posted mid-afternoon as a prompt to get people out. 

Suffolk County Council’s Star Wars poll

Not content with a Star Wars lift, they even ran their own droid poll. Excellent.  


New Forest District Council using the #dogsatpolling station hashtag with a twist 

Not happy just to snap dogs this council used a pic of different animals to stand-out from the crowd. Or flock.  

Selby District Council’s equine tweet 

Not to be outdone, a corner of the world known for its horses used a suitable image as a subtle piece of place marketing. 

The Returning Officer… speaks!

So, it’s not the most creative video ever. The fact that the officer responsible for the result is seen has to be a plus.

BBC shooting video of a council-deciding straw poll

This is rad. Northumberland was tied and one party needed this for overall control. The result was decided by a straw poll. The shaky video demonstrates the worth of content that’s on the spot over finely crafted story telling.

Telling people by text on Twitter

The immediate result needs to be communicated quickly. I admire the prep that’s gone into this. The winning candidate’s pic. The overall score. Lovely. A lot of work but it looks great.


Dan Slee is co-founder of comms2point0.

Original source – comms2point0 free online resource for creative comms people – comms2point0

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