Communications professionals from a wide variety of regulatory organisations gathered in London yesterday for the first ever Social Regulators Roundtable.
DTW and Digital Allies were honoured to be invited by the hosts – the Solicitors Regulation Authority – to help facilitate the day. Collectively, we explored the issues and challenges facing regulators on social media, including senior management involvement, employee advocacy, engaging stakeholders, tone of voice, measurement and social media policy.
The purpose of the day was to share ideas and issues commonly faced by people in a team or on their own, working at the sharp end as communicators for regulators. And certainly, by the end of the day, connections had been made and smiles were on faces.
It was a great day of discussion following introductions from SRA Chief Executive Paul Philip and Executive Director, External Affairs, Jane Malcolm.
Attendees from the SRA, ASA, RICS, BSB, PSR, FRR, ARB, Ofwat, CAP and the Homes and Communities Agency discussed the challenges they faced and what they hoped to learn from each other.
Key takeaways from the day included:
- There is a real desire and a drive from regulators towards engagement and away from using social just to broadcast – and that means posting content that is suitable for a social media audience (including light-hearted content) without compromising the authoritative voice of a regulatory body.
- Employee engagement and advocacy is seen as a very exciting area – but one with pitfalls and there is a need to prove to senior management teams that the risk is worth it. Social media policies are often placed in the disciplinary sections of staff handbooks – is this the right place for it? It adds a negative tone to the use of social.
- Evaluation and measurement is very important, but determining a significant ROI for a regulator is very difficult as there is no key conversion or call to action. As ever, the key with evaluation is focusing first on identifying what is REALLY important and understanding WHY you want to measure it.
Everyone recognised and sympathised with each other and we all enjoyed and learned a lot from the day.
— ASA (@ASA_UK) December 6, 2016
We received great feedback from attendees with talk of further meetings and of course some social networking and online sharing to back it up.
A huge thanks to John Rieger and the Digital Communications team at the SRA for organising an excellent day.