As you may be aware, the RSA Digital Engagement working group (RSAde) ran some online hustings during the recent Fellowship Council elections. The aim of the hustings was twofold: first to improve engagement among fellows, second to improve turnout.
While turnout was unfortunately down on the last comparable elections, engagement levels were good, particularly among candidates. All candidates who participated strongly in the online hustings were subsequently elected.
The report makes five recommendations:
1. Clearer and more comprehensive communications guidelines for candidates.
2. Future candidates be permitted to record and use video for campaign purposes.
3. General awareness around RSA elections to be improved with future elections promoted as an opportunity to debate the vision, values and aims of the Fellowship.
4. Greater transparency and access to information about the electoral process.
5. Election procedure, including communications policy, to be reviewed asap by the Fellowship Council.
Would you agree with these recommendations? Do you have any to add? What was your experience of the elections? Did you visit the online hustings site? Please add your comments below.
Thanks Jemima for all your work on the hustings, with Dave and Chris, and such an excellent round-up report. I agree with the recommendations in relation to the elections. Working as social reporter on this, several things struck me beyond the immediate election-communication issues:
So ... my recommendation is: if Fellowship Council wishes to engage effectively online with Fellows it will need to manage its own communication systems, and use those to show what difference it can make for Fellows.
I think we now have a great bunch of councillors who could make excellent use of those systems.
A great document Jemima, which captures the essence, frustrations and positives of the pilot. I do think for the next elections we need a comprehensive communications plan.
Including the regional emails which go out to fellows which should promote the elections and the hustings site & conversations with the candidates.
I think the overall governance communication needs reviewing aswell - as in Yorkshire we had a tie, which hadn't been considered in the governance plans. Which meant we were on the back foot on the communication around this.
I can see this being a big topic of debate - I wonder if it's worth having a governance or communications sub committee to work on this. Otherwise the overall agenda of the Council could well be hijacked by something like this.
I think the lack of engagement is a wider symptom of lack of engagement overall with fellows, not just on the elections.
Overall - the new fellowship council needs to make the most of the engagement so far and keep the momentum going.
Thanks David and Charlotte.
Charlotte - a working group is a great idea! I stopped short of recommending it as it'll be up to you new Fellowship Councillors to decide but yes, hopefully that will happen :)