In a blog post earlier this year (What are LHIN boards discussing?) I noted that Ontario LHINs are using various mechanisms to inform people about LHIN board meetings. I discovered last week that at least one LHIN, the South West LHIN, is experimenting with live tweeting at board meetings.
When I saw that the Director, Communications & Customer Service, Julie White (who I only know through Twitter and email), was tweeting from the most recent board meeting, I email’d her to learn a little more about why she was doing so and what she was learning from the experience. This blog post summarizes our email exchange.
When did you start tweeting?
“I began tweeting a year ago when I worked for the South East LHIN and I was doing community engagement roadshows across the LHIN. The goal then was to begin conversations before we got to certain towns/villages, to promote our events and then to continue the conversations afterwards.”
Why did you decide to tweet from the board meeting? Is this initiative part of an overall communications plan or ad-hoc activity?
“I am currently revising our corporate communications plan for the LHIN, but in the interim, we have been focused in two areas: joining the social network conversation and getting the good news out about the successes we have had within our LHIN. I’ve tweeted from Board meetings before, but not in any concerted or planned way as of yet. Today I had my laptop with me (monitoring other issues during the meeting), so tweeting some details of the meeting seemed natural – but was totally unplanned.”
“It’s another step in being open, transparent and accountable.”
“We also cover a large geographical area and rarely have on-site media coverage, so tweeting makes sense in order to share ideas and thoughts with the community”
Are members of the board aware that you are tweeting from board meetings?
“If you were to ask the majority of them what tweeting was, you may have some interesting answers! That said, we are starting to measure our social media efforts (very crudely right now) and roll up those results in our communications report to the Board’s Committee meeting every month.”
Did you get any feedback on your tweets for this most recent board meeting?
“I didn’t get any direct response – and struggle right now from the pushing out of information to the true engaging opportunity that could result. I’m looking for that balance!”
P.S. If you don’t what a “tweet’ is, check out http://www.twitter.com. Although both the name and the underlying concept might seem a little silly at first, twitter is quickly becoming a powerful tool for keeping people informed and engaged.