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Local government elections and social media

As councils move through the election cycle, adopting the regulations and guidelines that accompany the new Local Government Act (2020), there are two key periods that relate to social media.  

As councils move through the election cycle, adopting the regulations and guidelines that accompany the new Act, there are two key periods that relate to social media.  

Caretaker arrangements during the election period

The election period lasts for 32 days in Victorian local government elections. During this period councils must follow strict guidelines in a number of areas. As stated on the Know Your Council website, councils in the election period must not publish any material that could impact election outcomes.  Monitoring this activity can be a nightmare on social media, but if you’re able to monitor with alerts, hide or delete posts that contain problematic messaging and at the same time create a compliant archive of every conversation and action, that’s a governance dream.

“In addition to standard recordkeeping I am finding Brolly invaluable during the caretaker period in the run up to local government elections. Brolly makes it easy to monitor comments and find words like ‘vote’ and ‘election’ so I can delete or hide them, while still keeping a record of them in our archive.”

Communications Officer, Victorian metropolitan council  

Councillor induction

“I actually had no idea that we could add councillor Facebook pages into our Brolly archive. It’s an excellent add-on that gives the records team peace of mind and the social media team extra visibility. I don’t know how we coped without it.” 

Records Manager, Victorian regional council

During councillor induction, after swearing in, is an excellent time to bring your councillors up to speed on what’s expected of them if they’re using social media in their elected capacity. Many councillors who used a Facebook page to campaign in the lead up to the election might find it useful to transform the page into a communication channel they use as an elected representative on Council. 

Make sure you actively address social media in your induction pack. Provide guidance on what newly elected councillors should consider when it comes to recordkeeping requirements. For example, having a Facebook page for their Council work not only protects their privacy, but also creates archivable records that you can capture and preserve in Brolly to ensure your council is meeting its recordkeeping obligations. 

 

Get in touch

Need help with including social media considerations in your councillor induction pack? If you’re putting together an information pack for your newly sworn in councillors and you’d like some example social media guidance, or help with a review of the guidance you’ve prepared, please sign up for a free trial or contact us at learn@brolly.com.au We’d be happy to help.

Want more about Brolly and local government? This article on How social media archiving fits into local government digital transformation might be of interest. Grab yourself a cuppa and get reading!