Who should Dudley Council’s new tweeting Chief Exec be having conversations with?

screen grab of @sarahnormancx twitter profile

How exciting is this?!

Hats off to Dudley Council’s new Chief Executive, Sarah Norman. At 8.35am on her first day in the job last Monday she tweeted:

The twitter account @SarahNormanCX is a brand new one, and I am loving the commitment being made to using it. The Chief Executive of Dudley Council has been regularly sharing updates from her day, asking questions and retweeting other council and partner organisation accounts . (You have no idea how deliriously happy it makes me to have just typed that last sentence.)

This is spurring me in to action. I’ve already renewed my commitment to posting here, and have some great things lined up to share about #digitaldudley. And thanks to Sarah Norman I’m going to get something added to this site which I planned from the very beginning: a handy list of people who live, work and/or volunteer in Dudley borough and who use twitter and you would recommend conversation with.

So my questions to you are:

  • Who should our tweeting council Chief Exec be following and having conversation with and why?
  • Who should anyone new to twitter and interested in community, businesses and/or services in Dudley borough follow and have conversations with and why?
  • What shall we call the handy list? (I’ll make a new page. All I’ve come up with so far is Twitter Talk.)


  1. Dudley CVS Volunteer Centre · January 29, 2015

    Reblogged this on Volunteering Counts.

    • Lorna Prescott · January 29, 2015

      Thanks Eileen

    • Dudley CVS Volunteer Centre · January 29, 2015

      Always happy to share so more people can join the conversation 🙂

  2. Donna Roberts · January 29, 2015

    Lorna, I completely agree with you that it is fantastic to have a Chief Exec who shares through twitter. It helps me feel connected, informed and helps me understand my work in the context of the bigger council picture. It was great to see Sarah Norman tweeting about what you would boast about in Dudley, as well as sharing things you can connect to on a personal level, such as running.

    The question who should she be having conversations with made me think about my conversations and who they are with. The answer is of course lots of different people, but especially those who are trying to have conversations! Local and national, private sector, voluntary sector, statutory sector, experts, professionals, employees, residents, friends the list is endless. Those who share on twitter all have something to offer and should be engaged.

    I love the support, ideas and advice I get through twitter from my peers, people doing similar roles or experiencing similar things. I love conversations with people I already know and have an existing relationship with; twitter is a great way of keeping in touch. But I get just as excited by connecting and getting into conversations with people who I have never ever met, and I may never ever meet. I enjoy knowing what’s happening locally in my community and I enjoy being inspired by citizen led projects happening further afield. I have conversations with people who I learn from, that inspire me, challenge my thinking, signpost me to things that stretch my knowledge. I have conversations with people I like, that make me smile, and who encourage me and value me.

    The most important thing I believe is to have conversations with real people that are open to sharing and have honesty and integrity. People that are doing things that they are passionate about, where you get to share in their excitement. It is also important to respond to people that are reaching out to you; there is nothing worse than trying to start a conversation and not being acknowledged. Finally twitter is also about fun, so have conversations with those people you wouldn’t think you could in a million years! I love the fact that @antanddec and @sarahmillican71 tweets are mixed in with @blackcountrylep, @dudleymayor and @YoungYumYum1967

    • Lorna Prescott · January 29, 2015

      Thanks Donna, great points about conversations. I completely agree about the brilliance of twitter to connect you to people anywhere in the world. I’m particularly interested in local people and organisations so that here, through this little blog, in this little corner of the world we celebrate and connect great social media use in Dudley borough, because we can be a bit quiet about it 🙂

  3. Paul Jaunzems · January 29, 2015

    Hi Lorna

    I agree with Donna’s post. It’s great that Sarah is tweeting from Day One and shows that she buys in to the value of social media as a way of engaging with people. One of the strengths of Twitter is that it’s a great leveller and is immediate, anyone can make a point, take part in a conversation or read her thoughts. One’s occupation, status etc. don’t matter.

    I’m not sure about collating a ‘list’ as you may come in for criticism from anyone you’ve inadvertently left off it*! However, is it possible to create a list of Dudley-related hashtags to see what topics local people themselves have thought important?

    This has the makings of a great conversation!

    *but if you MUST do a list….. 😉

    • Lorna Prescott · January 29, 2015

      Fantastic Paul, I hadn’t thought of a list of hashtags. What should go on it?

      Re the Twitter accounts list, it’s part of a a broader set of resources I’d like to curate and keep adding to which will be handy at social media surgeries. When you are busy helping people it can be great to have accounts to show which have local relevance. Not just Twitter, blogs, Facebook Pages and probably soon Instagram. And not all our surgeons will know the accounts so we can signpost to a handy list, if we have one 🙂

  4. Donna Roberts · January 29, 2015

    If we had a list could people nominate themselves to be part of it by saying why they use it or why you may want to follow them? Or could you nominate other people & say why you value their tweets? So for example
    Donna_M_Roberts you might want to follow me if you enjoy working with communities and believe in empowering engagement & asset based approaches. Also mention cake, children & chickens in many posts!

    I love following Eileen Fielding. She is a great sharer who I find inspiring. She always has interesting stuff to say & is so passionate about volunteering. She is also great at connecting people.

  5. Alison · January 29, 2015

    It appears we all agree what value Sarah’s initial and continued tweets have provided as it would seem that she is offering to be ‘connected’. I found I instinctively clicked to follow immediately as we all surely gain by being connected, sharing and being aware of what’s happening in Dudley ‘quickly’.

    Personally I have found that although I may be making a connection via a particular idea or area of interest I seem to drive off the highway and go down alleyways so I would need a list of a list of a …… If that makes sense
    Sorry Lorna it’s you that sometimes takes me off the highway as you have such a variety of interesting tweets.


    • Lorna Prescott · January 30, 2015

      Thanks Alison, we clearly both love discovering all sorts of new things through twitter. I guess with this idea I’m trying to see Dudley borough through the eyes of a newcomer with an interest in finding out and talking about what is going in the borough. It could be difficult to know how to quickly get beyond organisational accounts which simply broadcast, to organisational and personal accounts which embrace and encourage interaction, conversation and relationships.

      It’s not too difficult to make yourself a quick list of police officers who tweet – if you go to the neighbourhoods page of Dudley Local Policing Unit and select a neighbourhood you can quickly find the accounts of sergeants who tweet (so for example Sgt Jimmy Jones in Coseley East has his own account @JJones8157WMP – found at http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/your-local-police/dudley/your-neighbourhood/index.aspx?id=63, whereas Sgt Rachel Turner in Brockmoor & Pensnett is using the broader @DudleyPolice account http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/your-local-police/dudley/your-neighbourhood/index.aspx?id=70). But how might you simply and quickly discover council officers who tweet in a work-related capacity, or voluntary sector chief officers who tweet, or community groups in the borough who have active twitter accounts? And as someone new, how would you know that in joining a conversation with the @HalasHomes on twitter you are actually in conversation with the fantastic Chief Executive of the organisation?

      And even if you’ve been around in the borough for ages, but are new to twitter, where could you go to find twitter accounts of people, groups and organisations who it could be useful to follow and join conversations with? I

      I think all the other, off the highway stuff is best when it’s slow burn, based on what you see and hear. I’m just trying to make the social media landscape of Dudley borough more visible. I want to enable people to find useful connections from day one, instead of it taking months and different people spending time doing it over and again, when we could do something once and just maintain it.

  6. Lorna Prescott · February 14, 2015

    Just a note to say I still intend to create a handy resource linking to people and organisations using twitter for great things Dudley borough. Bear with me, the list of things I want to write about and do here is getting longer by the week!

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