30 days of human comms: day #42: Birmingham New Street station

Train stations are emotional places. You say goodbye. You say hello. You lose a shoe getting onboard and get stranded in the rain.

It was raining. How was the poasenger going to reach somewhere where she could get a replacement pair?

Through Twitter, London Euston’s account spotted the problem and offered a solution.

An assistance buggy would pick up the passenger at the carriage door on arrival before taking her to a shoe shop. Beautifully simple and entirely human.

A cherry on top of the cake was the human tweet from Birmingham New Street.

Thanks Madeleine Sugden for spotting this.


30 days of human: day #41 Lidl Ireland ask how your weekend was

So, spare a thought for Lidl Ireland.

They had a rough weekend.

The tail end of a snow storm closed a raft of stores and caused all sorts of supply and staffing issues.

Thieves used a JCB  to break into a Dublin store… which then set on fire and collapsed.

So Lidl Ireland’s Monday morning tweet was a masterpiece.

It’s exactly what someone who had had a high profile disaster of a weekend would have said to break the ice.


BEING HUMAN: The first 30 days of human comms… and what I’ve learned

castle-gate

When I started on a whim to blog #30daysofhumancomms it was to collect together some examples of human content that worked for me.

There were about half a dozen that had stuck in my memory and I’d hoped with a prevailing wind this could stretch to 30. Maybe.

But as I added more I spotted more and more people – thank you – came up with alternatives.

Over the course of the month a staggering 10,000 unique users came and read the content. Thank you for stopping by, for sharing and for coming up with suggestions.

I’ll continue the series

Not every day but because I keep finding things I’ll continue. Because they keep cropping up.

Why human comms?

The best content is the right thing in the right place at the right time. Yes, I get the need for evaluated calls to action. It’s not how many people see it. It’s what people did as a result of seeing it. So important. But if you don’t have an audience in the first place you’ve got nothing. If all your audience get are calls to actions you are not social. You are a pizza delivery company stuffing leaflets through the digital door. This is where the Paretto principle comms in in social media. If 80 per cent of your content is human and engaging this earns the right 20 per cent of the time to ask them to do something. It’s something I strongly believe in.

What have I learned blogging human comms for 30 days

Examples don’t take long to blog.

People respond to them.

They are the secret sauce that makes social media accounts work.

You know them when you see them.

They don’t just exist as a snappy tweet but can be a poster, a media comment, an interview or can be on Facebook too. Often they are not things thought up by comms at all.

What is striking seeing them together is seeing so many on Twitter and in the coming series I’ll look out for other channels, too.

31 days of human comms listed by subject area

Twitter update

  1. Hampshire Fire & Rescue’s rescued bench tweet. See here.
  2. Doncaster Council’s thread for their gritter World Cup. See here.
  3. London Fire Brigade remember the Kings Cross Fire. See here.
  4. Thames Valley Police’s drugs find. See here.
  5. Cardiff Council’s GIF traffic warning. See here.
  6. The Yorkshire motorway police officer and his wife. See here.
  7. The @farmersoftheuk Twitter account. See here.
  8. Lochaber & Skype Police talk to someone at risk of domestic abuse. See here.
  9. Kirklees Council’s GIF that reminds people that gritter drivers are human too. See here.
  10. London Midland sign-off. See here.
  11. The NHS Trust with a sense of humour. See here.

Video

  1. Doncaster Council and Jake the sweet sweeper driver. See here.
  2. The basketball playing Gainesville Police officer. See here.
  3. Sandwell Council as car share for #ourday. See here.
  4. Burger King tackles the bullies. See here.
  5. Sefton Council’s message on a national subject. See here.
  6. Bath & North East Somersets singing food hygiene certificates. See here.
  7. A Welsh hardware shop’s Christmas advert. See here.
  8. Dorset police’s Christmas somg. See here.

Facebook update

  1. Sydney Ferries name their new boat Ferry McFerry Face. See here.
  2. Queensland Ambulance Service takes a dying patient to the ocean a final time. See here.
  3. A missing dog pic from New Forest District Council. See here.

Customer service

  1. Edinburgh Council’s out-of-hours Twitter. See here.
  2. The human railway conductor’s announcements. See here.

Stopping your job to being human

  1. The busking police officer. See here.

Media interviews

  1. A newspaper interview with medics who treated Manchester bomb patients. See here.

Media comment

  1. North West Ambulance Service’s response to a man abusing a paramedic. See here.

Posters and signs

  1. Dudley Council’s spoiled tea sign. See here.
  2. Welcome to Helsinki place marketing. See here.
  3. Virgin Trains’ new trains poster. See here.

Rebuttal

  1. The BBC respond to The Sun newspaper. See here.

If you have a suggestion I’d love to hear from you. Drop a note in the comments or @danslee on Twitter.


30 days of human comms: #4 Edinburgh City Council’s out-of-hours customer service

For a good three years 365-days-a-year I was a public sector account.

I realised I was taking things a bit too seriously when I insisted that Christmas Day dinner be put back five minutes so I could post a gritting alert in 140 characters.

To make the channel work, I had to become customer services, too. Why? Because I’d post a missive and be greeted with: ‘That’s great. Can you tell me why my bins weren’t emptied?’

So, for a good while I’ve admired Edinburgh City Council. They have staff who sign on as themselves and speak human.

In the evening, they also pass their account onto the out-of-hours team who sign on as themselves and monitor out-of-hours.

Be more human.

 


30 Days of Human Comms: #1 Dudley Council’s spoiled tea sign

castle gate

For a while now, I’ve argued for the need to be more human in your comms.

In the public sector, this is especially important as more than 1,200 services are delivered to people.

What is human comms? You’ll recognise it if you see it. It’s engaging and it connects. Sometimes it delivers a message. Sometimes it just works to show that human beings also work in an organisation, too.

I’ve blogged before about the need to have a mix of content in your social media channels to make them work. If you are 80 per cent human and 20 per cent call to action, that’s fine.

So, an experiment, for 30 days I’ll find a thing a day that looks human.

#1 Dudley Council’s Spoiled tea road sign

This has long been a favourite of mine. More than a decade ago, Dudley Council built a new road around Castle Gate in the town. How could they get motorists to take a different route home? Easy. Talk to them in Black Country.

The sign read:

“If yowm saft enuff ter cum dahn ‘ere agooin wum, yowr tay ull be spile’t.”

After living in the Black Country for almost 20 years I know this translates as:

“If you are silly enough to come down this road you will take so long your tea will be spoiled.”

Class, be more like Dudley Council.