This week’s edition of ‘Engaging Reads’ brings you the most interesting and useful digital comms insights we’ve come across over the last few weeks, including – news that using Twitter has become law for one Spanish town, 2014 will be the year of the ‘UNselfie’ and how us comms professionals can stay relevant in a digital world.

Tweet the police!


We spotted this interesting article on a Spanish town becoming the first in the world to be fully integrated with Twitter, including police officers wearing their Twitter handles with pride and residents being encouraged to tweet the authorities in an attempt to make them more accessible and accountable.

The ‘tongue in cheek’ article in The Kernel does pose the question of whether the whole thing is just one big publicity stunt by the Mayor Jose Antonio Rodriguez Salas, in a bid to raise his public profile. This followed his announcement that all departments and elected officials, including the police, had to maintain an interactive presence on the social network and the town’s “Twitter town square” was established.

A number of UK police forces are engaging with Twitter and have been doing for a number of years to keep in touch with the communities they serve and make appeals for information about local crime. The Surrey police even held its own Tweconstruction last year in an attempt to gather evidence for a specific case, demonstrating the power Twitter holds as a real- time, crime fighting, community engagement tool!

Scrap the #selfie


So just after the word #selfie is given the title ‘word of the year’ by the Oxford English dictionary, there is already an appeal to get the #UNselfie trending. Launched as part of #Giving Tuesday, a simple idea to encourage giving at a time of year when we all spend too much money on gifts and festive treats, #GivingTuesday is a reminder to give something back to those non-profits who are doing so much good in the world and the #UNSelfie is how you do it.

It’s a simple idea, you take a piece of paper and write the name of the charity you support, hold it up in front of your face and upload to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media channels, including the hashtags #GivingTuesday and #UNselfie. Instead of giving out Christmas cards this year the Engage Comms team will be making a donation to a chosen charity so watch this space for our very own #UNselfie on #GivingTuesday!

Keeping it relevant 


Finally this is not from a recent blog but it’s been doing the rounds on Twitter this week and I couldn’t agree more with Steve Farnsworth’s views on how comms professionals need to evolve to stay relevant.

We have an in-house rule at Engage Comms to never refer to ourselves as ‘PR’s’ or a ‘PR agency’ despite the fact that our two founding directors come from a traditional Public Relations background. We’ve opted for ‘digital communications consultancy’ instead and there are a number of variations in our marketplace from your social media gurus to your online PR’s.

So why ditch the term PR? Steve explains: “Because there is too much head trash about what public relations means. I think it is unrealistic to expect that others outside the profession, including most bosses and clients, will ever see it more than publicity, free advertising, or press releases. Your job is about to get harder than it already is, and dragging that old description around is just dead weight. If we want to evolve I think we need to kill “PR”.

Now this is certainly not me saying that the skills we developed as PR professionals are out-dated or defunct, far from it. Those skills are exactly what enable us to deliver best practice business communications for our clients, but in recent years, us PR’s pros have had to and will continue to adapt and evolve to survive: “If you want to stay relevant you will need to reinvent your roll, reimagine strategies that worked yesterday, but are becoming dangerously outdated today, and re-evaluate your bag of tools constantly to meet the quickly changing digital landscape.” (@Steveology Blog

If are looking for ways to maximise your digital communications plan or don’t know where to start with your online presence, engage with us today, we’d love to hear about your business.