Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council
Blaenau Gwent is a place of heritage and dramatic change, with a sense of its past but its eyes firmly on the future. Covering an area of approximately 10,900 hectares and with a population of 68,400, Blaenau Gwent is divided into 16 political wards, represented by 42 elected members.
Blaenau Gwent has experienced enormous regeneration investment in recent years. Major projects like the re-opening of the Ebbw Valley railway and the re-development of the former Corus steelworks site in Ebbw Vale will transform the face of the borough. Its main towns are Abertillery, Brynmawr, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar.
What is CrowdControlHQ?
CrowdControlHQ is the UK’s leading social media risk management and compliance platform built for enterprise. It gives you access to all your organisation’s social media channels from a single dashboard, accessible online from anywhere. CCHQ supports your channel shift strategy by enabling your communications and customer service teams to manage social media communications across complex networks of multiple accounts. It also gives you a complete social media audit trail and includes the advanced security features needed to ensure that your organisation’s image is protected and compliance regulations are met.
Strategic objectives of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council
Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council was looking for an effective system to manage its social media accounts. It recognized the value of social media in terms of managing the Council’s communications, from both a proactive and reactive point of view. However, its legacy social media systems had a number of significant limitations.
It enabled staff to post things quickly but did not offer any ability to monitor, validate or control what they were posting, potentially opening the Council up to the risk associated with inappropriate posts. Additionally, the legacy system did not offer any backend analytics so the Council was not able to measure the effectiveness of its social media activity.
Over time many departments within the Council had set up their own social media accounts and the legacy system offered no way of keeping track of these accounts within one interface. Different people had access to different systems, making it very hard to ensure that messages were reaching the right people and being communicated consistently.
“We recognized the fact that, as a Council, we needed to up our game in terms of driving digital communications. In the past most of our communication with citizens was paper-based which was very expensive, particularly when we were faced with budget pressures.”
Sean Scannell – Communications, marketing and customer access manager
Thus the Council was looking for a social media management solution that would enable it to:
- Manage both inbound and outbound social media communications with citizens from one central hub
- Keep track of a number of different accounts across multiple departments in one place
- Ensure staff access to accounts is effectively controlled
- Encourage greater use of social media as part of the Council’s overall channel shift strategy
- Enable the effectiveness of social media messages to be accurately tracked through simple and intuitive analytics
- Allow different levels of access depending on staff roles and ensure that messages can be validated and checked prior to sending if necessary
Benefits of Crowd Control HQ for Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council
Reaching more people via social media
“We have social media activity scheduled to support all the council directorates and to reach as many people as possible. We use the system to effectively deliver campaigns, to schedule regular posts and to schedule one off activities as well. In terms of the proactive stuff we use it a lot and it’s meant that the number of campaigns and the volume of activity that we’re able to do has grown significantly so we’re reaching a lot more people with our outbound communications because we have an effective social media platform.”
Improved customer service
“We get a lot of resident feedback on our Facebook and Twitter pages, a mixture of complaints, compliments and operational requests. We are able to manage these very effectively using CCHQ. We can’t always provide an instant answer to the query but we can instantly engage with the customer and tell them that we’re dealing with things that are operational. We are able to improve our customer services and turn some of the negatives into positives by dealing with things quickly. We have a small number of users on the system but they can answer 90% of the queries that come in very quickly.”
Drive channel shift
“If people are reporting something on social media then we can drive them down the self-service route by pointing them to our online channels or driving them onto the phone route if it’s a more complex enquiry. We can take enquires that come in and drive them to the correct channel more quickly than in the past. CCHQ gives an effective way of dealing with high volume low complexity stuff that comes in.”
Measure the effectiveness of activities
“The analytics was also important for us as it enabled us to understand the value of our activities – something we hadn’t really measured previously.
Ease of use
“It was a relatively straightforward system to set up and easy to use as well. The set up process was very straight forward. We identified the key users internally and got those users set up on the system straight away. The training was very straightforward – it took about half a day to get everyone up and running with the system. This was a really big benefit for us.”
Keeping track of existing accounts
“We took the opportunity to rationalize some of the legacy social accounts we had in the council that people weren’t actually using – we stripped those out and got to two or three corporate social media accounts. That was very useful to us and we did that work as part of a set up process for CCHW. The advent of a new system has encouraged us to focus on a smaller number of accounts which links back to the savings. As our resources get less we need systems that enable us to deliver more efficiently and best value from the limited resources that we have got.”
Value for money
“Price was important for us as well – CrowdControlHQ is a relatively cost effective solution and you’re adding a lot of value for a relatively low investment.”
Control and validate messages going out
“Users are logging into CCHQ rather than into the social media accounts directly which allows us to keep everything under control. From a communications point of view, we can control the tone of voice and the branding elements and it gives us a way of moderating some of the activity as well. We don’t want to push stuff out that’s misleading or could drive contentious responses. Having the validation tool is useful to keep governance over tone of voice. The control and validation process was important to us as it enables us to control the output in terms of social medial so we’ve got an auditable two step process for approving posts.”
Working with Abavus
“Working with Abavus has been great. Any time we’ve had a problem we have been able to resolve it very quickly or by picking the phone up and chatting through how do we do this. The customer service that Abavus delivers – we are more than happy with that. There’s nothing that we haven’t been able to solve with a quick conversation. That was particularly important in the early days when we were learning a bit via trial and error. As soon as we had an issue we’d give Abavus a call and get the answer very quickly.”
About Abavus and Crowd Control HQ
CrowdControlHQ has agreed a partnership with Abavus to accelerate growth throughout the public sector. As the UK’s leading social media risk management and compliance platform, CrowdControlHQ, is credited as being the first and only British tech business to enter the Forrester Social Media Risk Management Top 10, earmarked as a ‘genuine worldwide contender’.
Meanwhile, Abavus have developed a very strong insight into the role of technology within the public sector, having spearheaded the roll out of My Council Services online, across some of the largest local authorities in the UK. As a accredited trainers, they ensure that public sector clients having invested in new technology also deliver significant return on investment through the training and development of software users.Download the full Blaenau case study