As election time approaches communications teams in local government or the civil service change their approach to make sure the rule of purdah is upheld.
Purdah is the time between when an election is announced and the final results given out. There are strict rules governing public servants during this time to ensure public resources aren’t used, or appear to be used, for party political purposes during.
The period of purdah means local government and civil servants must not carry out their duties in a way which casts doubt on their impartiality during a time of heightened political sensitivity.
Communications and social media must be impartial and factual during purdah. This means press releases, email newsletters, web pages and your official social media accounts - plus those of any identified staff and councillors too. It also covers third party or partnership social media - such as a business partnership account your council supports and contributes to.
Most communications teams are used to changing their political quotes to those from officers during this time but what it means for activity on social media and your website can feel less clear.
Purdah doesn’t mean you need to stop using social media completely but like with other communication channels you need to be mindful of the rules and make sure your activity abides by them.
It’s a good idea to make sure anyone posting to social media is aware of when purdah rules apply and what they are and you’ve also let the public know they may see a change in how you use social media during this time.
Here are our five points to guide communications teams and others using public sector social media during purdah:
Book a quick online walkthrough of MusterPoint to see how it can help you save time, money and resources during purdah. Full oversight of all your social channels and full control over all that gets published.