On 19 November, Freebridge Community Housing carried out an experiment designed to show the variety and volume of enquiries it receives. It decided to tweet every contact for a 24 hour period so that customers (and peers and the media) could see for themselves the wide range of emails, calls and letters that social landlords take every day.
It was similar to Greater Manchester Police's experiment in October, which used several twitter accounts to show every enquiry they had over 24 hours.
These experiments both showed the human side and the day-to-day reality of life in public sector organisations. Social media, and twitter in particular, is perfect for allowing organisations to be more transparent than ever and show in real time what they do with zero financial cost and minimal human resource. Both experiments also generated valuable media coverage.
As public sector cuts start to bite, it will become more important than ever for organisations to demonstrate what they are doing and how they are contributing to society. Social media offers a great way to do this cheaply and effectively.