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  • 1.Hear Case Studies from other agencies on how they are overcoming common barriers to social media optimisation
  • 2.Get up to date on the latest changes and ways to enhance audience engagement via key social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more
  • 3.Connect and network with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter through interacted discussions facilitated by them
  • 4.Learn about the latest trends and strategies from social media thought leaders from outside government
  • 5.Deep dive into key topics via mini-workshops facilitated from social media thought leaders

With eight out of 10 Australians on social media, there is now an increased focus for the public to become more digitally accessible and transparent to the community. In order to engage citizens and inform the public, organisations are now focused on driving consumer engagement and effectively informing decision making across Australia.

The Social Media for Gov Summit, held in Melbourne from 4 – 6 December 2019, was a unique event that explored some of the most exciting case studies and innovative strategies to maximise social media success. With powerful keynote presentations and panel discussions from Australia’s leading Social Media professionals, this event addressed the most significant challenges being faced today and uncovered the knowledge, strategies and technology to improve the impact and value of social media efforts.

Key speakers:

Other challenges we solved

Educating the wider business on best practices 

Quality content and strong engagement 

Tech and analytics to inform your people strategy  

Selling social up the value chain to gain buy-in for adequate resources 

Platform and algorithms changes  

Meet the expectations of your audience   

Agenda Overview

Wednesday, 4th December 2019
Thursday, 5th December 2019
Friday, 6th December 2019
  • 8:00 AM
    Registration opens
  • 08:50 AM
    Opening remarks from the conference Chairperson

    Colin Anstie, CEO, RD Consulting

  • 09:00 AM
    International opening keynote: Social media through the telescope – An insight into how NASA brings space to everyone

    • Reaching millions of followers without a budget 
    • How to captivate and engage a worldwide audience? 
    • Tips to streamline cross-platform posting as part of a unified social media strategy 


    Rebecca Roth
    Image Coordinator and Social Media Specialist NASA
  • 9:30 AM
    Case study: Humanising the AFP brand through Social Media

    Laura and her team at the AFP are focused on humanising the AFP brand through a series of strategies that are focusing on building trust, and informing, educating and engaging their audience. In this session, she will share how she is making this happen, including :

    • Getting buy-in from internal stakeholders by showing the value of social coverage, sharing stats and speaking their language. 
    • Having strong engagement with minimal budget by knowing their audience, engaging with them on their level and ensuring they are engaging in comments as well as post. 
    • Mitigating the risks of humanising through social by developing a “tone strategy”, having the right staff, knowing what to say and when to step away. 
    Laura Haddock
    Senior Social Media Officer Australian Federal Police
  • 10:00 AM
    Panel discussion: Building winning social media teams in government

    How do you build a winning social media team, when governments have a reputation for lagging behind in their digitally savviness, and more often than not are under staffed and under resourced. Our panellists will share how they’re focused on building winning social media teams in this challenging environment.  

    • How to attract top social media talent to government agencies?  
    • How to build the case for increasing social media staff ? 
    • How do you build right skills that meet the social communications requirements across all levels of government?  
    • How do you upskill staff with minimal budget?  
    • What are the key skills for social media professionals now and in the future? 



    Kylie Mackey
    Senior Events and Marketing Office City of GreaterGeelong
    Cynthia Piromalli
    Communications Advisor1800RESPECT Medibank
    David Powell
    Communications And Marketing Group Coordinator Blacktown City Council
  • 10:30 AM
    Morning refreshments
  • 11:00 AM
    Ownership of social media

    • Your responsibilities in the world of social media  
    • The importance of effective community management 
    • Why conversations matter in the digital era 


    Nathan Cram
    Founder Brolly
  • 11:30 AM
    Tailoring, targeting and testing - getting the most out of Facebook

    Two billion people use Facebook every month to connect with friends and family, and to discover things that matter. For this reason, it is a critical tool government departments should continuously be focusing on getting the most out of. Presented by Facebook, this session will explore: 

    • Targeting and tailoring messages to audiences – exploring core targeting, multicultural targeting and custom targeting 
    • How to understand the algorithm  
    • Paid VS organic and how they complement each other 
    • Additional resources to further learning 



    Lauren Smallwood
    Partner Manager Government, Politics and Advocacy, Facebook
  • 12:00 PM
    How to win at social: Securing executive buy-in through a collaborative approach

    You know Australian citizens engage on social. But executive leadership is still wary of the risk. Learn how to empower communications, security, and information management teams to reduce social media risks, so you can reap the rewards. This session will cover how:

    • The speed & scale of social media poses unique risks 
    • To protect your agency from imposters and fraudulent content 
    • Cloud-scale technology can help teams cope with social risks in real-time 
    • Communications teams can lead with proactive controls
      A collaborative approach can assure executive buy-in for social media initiatives 
    Peter Nicolaou
    Director of Business Development for Australia and New Zealand SafeGuard Cyber
  • 12:20 PM
    Networking luncheon
  • 1:20 PM
    Case study: Designed for Life and the City of Adelaide’s new social technologies: User Generated Content (UGC), Social Listening and an Artificial Intelligence Chatbot

    The City of Adelaide recently implemented its first ever ‘place brand’: Adelaide. Designed for Life.  The new brand platform articulates Adelaide’s proud history as a city ​thoughtfully and purposefully designed with its people in mind, and the desire for the city to remain as one of the world’s most liveable cities into the future. In this session, Clayton will tell us about Adelaide’s Designed for Life journey and how the organisation is embracing new marketing technologies, particularly in the social media realm. This session will cover:  


    • How the City of Adelaide undertook a major upgrade of its web and social platforms in 2018/19, in order to best represent its new ‘place brand’ digitally 
    • The adoption of user generated content (UGC) 
    • Implementing new tools such as an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, a new social listening platform, 360-degree drone photography, a content marketing blog, and 3D virtual tours
    Clayton Wehner
    Manager, Marketing Strategy and Innovation City of Adelaide
  • 1:50 PM
    Producing quality content and generating strong engagement with minimal budget

    We all know that social media, done right, is a great way to reach your audience quickly and inexpensively. For small rural shires operating under restrictive budgets and prohibitive local media timelines it is becoming increasingly critical. In this session you will hear the social media story of a Council that is balancing the best way to communicate with its small yet widely dispersed population. 

    • Exploring the communication challenges of small rural shires  
    • Understanding your audience and how best to get the ear of your community  
    • Getting buy in with no money  
    Travis Fitzgibbon
    Manager Customer Engagement Buloke Shire Council
  • 2:20 PM
    Case study: Why experimenting and taking risks equals rewards in the world of social media

    All the data in the world will still not tell you exactly what your audience wants. The reality is brands must constantly experiment to find what works and what doesn’t – which means experimenting and taking risks. This session will explore why taking risks, equals reward when it comes to social media, and the ways you can take risks in a calculated way.  

    • Getting noticed by being first – why pioneering gets attention on social 
    • Experimenting with new social platform features and tools for content creation  
    • Testing humour, tone, opinions, stances and more 
    • Learning when experiments fail 
    Eloise Young
    Digital Manager, Office of the Hon Daniel Andrews MP Premier of Victoria
  • 2:50 PM
    Afternoon refreshments
  • 3:10 PM
    Interactive roundtable | The Social Circle round one: Let’s talk strategy, tech, risk and buy-in acebook and Instagram

    The Social Circle is an opportunity for you to collaborate with your peers by working through the biggest pain-points faced across Government Social Media teams.  

    Facilitated by various social media managers, these sessions will run for one hour, and will rotate three times, giving you the opportunity collaborate and workshop through your top three challenges. 

    Roundtable 1:



    Doing more with less – how can social media teams deliver quality with minimal resources?



    Travis Fitzgibbon, Manager Customer Engagement, Buloke Shire Council
    Roundtable 2: 



    Organisational wide purpose and vision – how can social media teams get everyone on board and on the same page?


    Clayton Wehner, Manager Marketing Strategy and Innovation, City of Adelaide
    Roundtable 3: 



    Mitigating fears and scepticism – how can social media teams get the risk adverse on board?



    Kendall Masters, Adviser, Social Media, Digital and Customer Communications Corporate Services, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning 
    Roundtable 4:



    Resources and respect – how can social media teams get buy-in for the respect and resources they need to make an impact?



    Kylie Mackey, Senior Events and Marketing Officer, City of Greater Geelong
    Roundtable 5:



    Creative and engaging – how to create engaging video content – at scale?



    Harvey Dixon, Sales Manager, Shootsta
    Roundtable 6: 



     Know the audience – how can social media teams keep their finger on the pulse when it comes to knowing their audience?



    Cynthia Piromalli, Communications Advisor 1800RESPECT, Medibank  

  • 4:10 PM
    Case study: From in-house to outstanding - taking the next step with your in-house video capabilities

    A lot of departments now have their own in-house video production capabilities, but how do you take the next step in the video content you create? In this session Chris Riordan will provide real world examples of how to: 

    • Create more engaging content 
    • Optimise budgets and resources 
    • Get buy-in from senior Management 
    • Build your team 
    Chris Riordan
    Creative Services Manager Department of Education and Training
  • 4:40 PM
    Case study: Engage communities through User Generated Content

    • What is user generated content and how can governments maximise its benefits  
    • Working with influencers 
    • Getting your community involved through competitions  
    • Using incentives to tap into your communities talents by crowdsourcing content  
    • Getting the balance between user generated content and potential legal issues 


    Renee Bertolus
    Head of Digitial Engagement and Social Media Bupa
  • 5:10 PM
    Closing remarks from the Chair and end of day one
  • 8:30 AM
    Registration opens
  • 8:50 AM
    Opening remarks from the Chair

    Colin Anstie, CEO, RD Consulting

  • 9:00 AM
    Case study: Messenger as a critical tool for connecting with community

    Victoria Police has established a Facebook Messenger service, pushing news and information direct to people’s mobile devices. The driving force behind this initiative included recent changes to Facebook’s algorithms which significantly reduced the visibility of their accounts, and saw a sizable decline in views and engagement. Concurrent to this has been a growth in mobile messaging apps world-wide, including Messenger. Seeing this as a significant opportunity, they set out to establish a Facebook Messenger service for a three month trial. In this presentation, Mark will share their journey establishing this service, including: 

    • How they built the case to get buy-in 
    • How they manage the combination of posting to Facebook along with content created specifically for Facebook Messenger to provide their audience with choice and consistency 
    • How they are using an AI Chatbot to provide pathways to communicate around recruitment and assist reporting low-level crime online 
    • How they are using video to deliver news updates 
    • How this can support during critical times such as during a Class One security or terrorism event 
    • Outcomes to date  
    Mark Bayly
    Online Communications Manager Victoria Police
  • 9:30 AM
    Risky business – Turning social media risks into opportunities

    Social media has become ingrained in the fabric of society. The unparalleled access between citizens and the public sector have provided exceptional public value, however scepticism and aversion to risk remain a hurdle for the effective use of Social Media in Government. Elliott Franks will explore:

    • The real and perceived risk of Social Media 
    • How he has navigated many of the pitfalls 
    • Using the power of Social Media to enhance safety 
    Elliott Franks
    Social Media Manager, Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy (Queensland)
  • 10:00 AM
    Panel discussion: Standardising governance, processes, policies and procedures in diverse and complex environments – where do we begin?

    Governments are complex, bureaucratic, political and often slowmoving environments that make standardising, or harmonising, an approach to social media a difficult feat. Often, social media teams who work across various departments, with various executives or ministers often find themselves dancing around each of these teams preferences, ideas and approval processes. However, in order for social media teams to be truly optimised, having consistency is critical. This panel discussion will explore how social media teams can best navigate this landscape, and work towards standardisation. 

    • How do you build an organisational wide purpose and vision? 
    • How do you develop a set of “rules of engagement’ and get all to buy-in and abide?  
    • How can you build a standard set of processes and let it flow through the organisation?  
    • How do you ensure your escalation and crisis management plans are aligned with the wider organisations?  
    • How do you effectively educated stakeholder on legal considerations?  
    • Do’s and Don’ts for building an effective social media style guide  
    • How do you remain agile enough to update governance and policies at the pace of change of social media? 



    Cynthia Piromalli
    Communications Advisor1800RESPECT Medibank
    Mark Bayly
    Online Communications Manager Victoria Police
    Peter De Luca
    Director, Corporate Affairs Rail Projects Victoria
  • 10:40 AM
    Morning refreshments
  • 11:10 AM
    Case study: Thriving in chaos – How do you help an inherently risk-averse organisation flourish in the pandemonium of social media?

    Writing timely and engaging content is hard, but the true battle is often getting the good content across the line with subject matter experts and executive approvers. In a risk averse and politically sensitive environment, everyone wants to give content their tick of approval – so how do you capitalise on the advantages of timely content and engagement, when the machine needs 3-5 business days to come to a consensus? Covering topics including: 


    • Empowering staff as advocates and embedding autonomy in your strategy 
    • Knowing what your minimal lovable product is and when to compromise in the battle between good content and necessary content 
    • Maintaining a content balance that will satisfy your executive, followers and strategy


    Kendall Masters
    Social Media Adviser Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
  • 11:40 AM
    Case study: Towards organisational transformation and customer centricity: BOM's journey

    With a new organisational transformation agenda and the adoption of a more customer-centric approach to social media, Emma will share BOM’s journey over recent years and how they’ve arrived at this point. Sharing the highlights, lessons learned, and vision ahead—this session will cover scenarios they’re working through, and how they navigating through them. This session will explore:

    • Towards organisational transformation and a more customer-centric approach 
    • When the stars align: bringing staff along on the journey 
    • Entertainment VS Education: understanding the difference in order to optimise social media 
    • Where are they now, and where to from here
    Emma Kurzel
    Social Media and Content Specialist Bureau of Meteorology
  • 12:10 PM
    Networking luncheon
  • 1:10 PM
    The Social Circle round two: Let’s talk social media platform changes, algorithms and engagement

    The Social Circle will focus on the challenges you face when using various social platforms. Facilitated by Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter – you’ll have the opportunity to work with your peers through the challenges you face, while receiving real-time guidance and support from the platform’s teams. 

    These sessions will run for one hour, and will rotate twice, giving you the opportunity to get intimate time with your platforms of choice.   

    Roundtable 1: Facebook
    Roundtable 2: Instagram
    Roundtable 3: SnapChat
    Roundtable 4: Twitter
    Roundtable 5: LinkedIn  



    Colin Anstie
    Chief Executive Officer RD Consulting
  • 2:10 PM
    Case study | Effectively using data to prove ROI and gain stakeholder buy-in

    Effectively collecting social media data not only enables smarter business decisions, it also enables transparency about the ROI you’re generating while demonstrating to the more cautious and sceptical the immense value social media can add. This session will explore the ways you can effectively use data to prove ROI and gain stakeholder buy-in. 

    • Exploring meaningful social media data vs. vanity metrics 
    • Establishing your core social media KPIs 
    • Tracking unique metrics from each platform 
    • Using social media analytics tools to make decisions 
    • Translating social media data into easy to read actionable insights 
    Peter De Luca
    Director, Corporate Affairs Rail Projects Victoria
  • 2:40 PM
    Case study | Getting the most out of your video content and strategy

    The demand for video is ever increasing and as a result we see more video content being used by government agencies. The stats are in, and they suggest that social media posts with videos boost views by 48%. This session will journey through the ways you can ensure you’re getting the most out of you video content and strategy.

    • Video for government – what works, what doesn’t? 
    • Finding the right video approach for you 
    • The current landscape of video 
    • Essential equipment to maximise your video production 
    • Easy tips to improving your videos 
    • The future of video – Current trends and what’s next? 
    Brice Varan
    Senior Video Producer Level Crossing Removal Project
    David Benson
    Senior Video Producer Level Crossing Removal Project
  • 3:10 PM
    Afternoon refreshments
  • 3:40 PM
    Case study | From reactive to proactive – using chat-bots to take the pressure off!

    SA Emergency Service agencies are often faced with the reality of minimal social media resources. The staff that work in this space often struggle with the added workload of social media management, in addition to their other duties, without additional staffing or resources. To take the pressure off, Phillip began to experiment with chatbots. In this session, Phillip will give you an introduction to how this came about, and the process he has undertaken to get here. He will also facilitate an interactive demo, whereby he will lead you through setting up a free chatbot by the end of his session. This session will cover: 

    • Chatbots – What are they? & How can they be used to mitigate resource strain & provide better service to the public.   
    • How to set it up – Considerations and what’s required 
    • Outcomes to date 
    • Live Interactive Demo: A quick and easy approach to setting up a chatbot 


    Phillip Krasnof
    Digital Communications Adviser Primary Industries and Regions SA - PIRSA
  • 4:10 PM
    Case study | Selling social media up the chain

    One of the biggest challenges faced by social media teams is dealing with the negative perceptions and perceived risks of social media. Further, often those from upper levels aren’t as savvy when it comes to social media, and often expect more than what the resources can deliver. For these reasons and more, getting buy-in and adequate resourcing is a challenge. In this session, we will explore how to sell social media up the chain, and work towards getting buy-in.  

    • “Debunking” the negative perceptions and perceived risks 
    • Building an effective case to gain investment in social media  
    • Presenting your case – what’s works, what doesn’t 
    • Translating social media terms into a business context 
    • Demonstrating that social media strategies are aligned with business objectives  
    Perrin Brown
    Digital Media Advisor Worksafe Victoria
  • 4:40 PM
    Case study | Raising your social game: Keeping pace with a growing population in the face of budgetary constraints and resource limitations

    As one of the largest local government areas in the country, with possibly the highest growth rate (their population will outstrip Tasmania’s by 2036), and a large number of high profile, transformational projects underway, Blacktown City Council are under increasing pressure to deliver bigger and better results on social media, including more and more rich media/video, with finite budgets and internal resources. In this presentation, David will share:

    • The journey so far –  how they are navigating this landscape 
    • Successes and lessons learned 
    • What their future strategic roadmap looks like 
    David Powell
    Communications And Marketing Group Coordinator Blacktown City Council
  • 5:10 PM
    End of Summit
  • 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
    Unlocking The Power Of User Generated Content

    User Generated Content (UGC) is a powerful tool with data suggesting UGC delivers higher ROI, higher click-through rates and lower costs per click and acquisition – not to mention the time saved on content production. This workshop will explore UGC practices that deliver results, introducing you to the ways you can implement UGC into your Social Media strategy

    This workshop will explore:  

    • How UGC is a tool for promoting authenticity and creating trust with your audience 
    • The impact UGC has on conversion  
    • Building brand desire and loyalty  
    • Creating a content library saving time and costs  
    • The art of working with influencers, crowd-sourcing content and collaborating with your audience  
    • Legal and copywrite considerations  
    • Building the business case for UGC 


    You will learn:  

    • Best practice approaches for UGC 
    • How to get buy-in for UGC 
    • Complying with the law  
    • How UGC can generate cost reductions  


    Renee Bertolus
    Head of Digitial Engagement and Social Media Bupa
  • 12:00 AM – 1:00 PM
    Networking luncheon
  • 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM
    Creating a Winning Customer-Centric Social Media Strategy

    While governments have their core messages and policies they want to relay, social media audiences have different motivations when it comes to what they want to receive, largely driven by feelings, personal impact, intimacy, trust and engagement. For any organisation who seeks to captivate their audience, it is imperative they shift their focus away from their own agenda, and towards their audiences, in order to receive their loyalty. This session will explore how to adopt a customer-centric approach when developing your social media strategy 


    This workshop will explore: 


    • Why it’s important to have an audience based focus, regardless of organisation
    • Understanding and accepting how your audience uses social media
    • Create engaging social content for your audience to interact with your organisation
    • Segmenting and personalising your strategy for each audience persona
    • Acknowledging your top followers as advocates
    • Getting your agency on board – demonstrating how an audience focused approach delivers better outcomes.


    You will learn: 

    • Approaches for driving stronger engagement  
    • Methods for getting to know your customers  
    • Ways to implement customer-centric insights into your social media strategy  
    • Getting buy-in for a customer centric approach 




    Cynthia Piromalli
    Communications Advisor1800RESPECT Medibank

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