PSM Show Ep 3 Blog YT


Are you a CEO or a senior leader in government or public sector?

What’s your opinion of social media and its relevance to your role? How about your senior management team and subject matter experts across various departments – do they have a part to play?

My own view is that it’s not a question ‘if?’ but ‘when and how’?

In this episode, I’m going to explore this topic in greater detail.

I’m going to share:

  • > why CEOs should step up on social media;
  • > how leadership can change public opinion online;
  • > the role social media plays in managing the media narrative more effectively and;
  • > why social media bridges the trust gap between public servants, politicians and the public.

I also share best practice examples of leaders from across the world who we should look to for inspiration.

You’ll even get access to my free webinar on the role of senior leadership on social media.



LISTEN: The Role of Senior Leaders on Social Media | #PublicSector #Government #PublicSectorMarketingShow #JoanneSweeney #CEOsocialmediaClick To Tweet

Subscribe to The Public Sector Marketing Show or your preferred podcast platform.

Joanne’s Column

From the Boardroom to the Social Media Frontline

In today’s column I’m discussing: From the Boardroom to the Social Media Frontline

Mike Ryan, Head of the Emergencies Programme at the World Health Organisation says:

“We don’t go after the messenger; what we try to do is, we replace bad information with good information. That’s as important in fighting a virus.”

So do you agree? Should senior leaders embrace social media and make it part of their working week?

I’d really like your opinion on this topic. Tweet me your views to @JSTweetsDigital.

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that the more leaders step up, the more the public listen. | #PublicSectorMarketingShow #JoanneSweeney #CEOsocialmedia #socialmediaforCEOs #CEOClick To Tweet


What Management Can Do To Lead From the Front Online

Senior leadership need to drive transformation

100 public sector pros studying at the Public Sector Marketing Institute were asked to share the top three barriers to effective social media delivery in their organisation. The results were clear.

  1. Management buy-in (in-source social media and upskill staff).
  2. Not having a social media strategy.
  3. Understanding how to evaluate social media success.
  • #1 Decide to lead a digital-first communications organisation
  • #2 Undertake a digital skills audit
  • #3 Prepare a roadmap for transformation (12-24 months)
  • #4 Identify the change team
  • #5 Set goals and milestones
  • #6 Map your CPD training plan
  • #7 Progress reporting
  • #8 Produce case studies from wins
  • #9 Review and invest in software as a service
  • #10 Change work practices (work smarter not harder)

Case Studies

There are three individuals that I want to profile in this episode. For me, they are best practice examples of how to lead from the front online in politics, in public health, and in policing.

The first case study is from New Zealand and the personalisation of video and live-streaming by its Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

View Jacinda Ardern's Facebook Live here


The second case study is from Ireland and centres on public health. Paul Reid is Chief Executive Officer of the Health Service Executive.

He regularly goes back to a key phrase which I’ve picked up a few times in media briefings, Tweets and social media videos – “”I  am conscious that we must win the hearts and minds of the people.”

I believe his has an innate understanding that in managing a national health service his role is to build trust. From watching his digital public relations online he and his team clearly understand the role social media plays.

From the beginning of COVID-19 Paul Reid let his team of subject matter experts out weekly to host live press conferences online including on the HSE’s Twitter account.

Often a press and media team will be social media savvy and will be promoting and encouraging that their senior leaders are more adaptive to digital communications. However, it is not always the case that a CEO or senior leader will respond positively.

In fact, the personal bias of a senior leader about social media can single-handedly result in the organisation being trusted or not. I know this is a big statement, but in my experience this single judgement shapes an organisations social media strategy and output.

Here is Paul Reid providing a stark update during one of those press conferences on January 7th.


The third case study is from Chris Hsiung, Police Chief of the Mountain View Police Department in Silicon Valley, California. An early adopter of social media he has been recognised with many industry accolades. He maintains that:

“Your public facing messaging should stand on a foundation of collaboration behind the scenes.”

In a recent interview with Polco, Officer Chris Hsiung said showing the community how police is working together was vital to build up trust and engagement during COVID-19.

Chris Hsiung, Police Chief of the Mountain View Police Department

Watch video Polco interview with Chris Hsiung here

So ask yourself today, is our CEO and senior management team committed to social media?

Are there personal bias towards social media holding us back?

If you are a senior leader and listening to this, can you ask yourself that question?

Are you a Jacinda Ardern, Paul Reid or Chris Hsiung – why can’t you be? Their efforts come from a place of understanding digital age communications and a commitment to building public trust and engagement.


Watch my Senior Leadership Online Webinar

Read my article in Open Access Government on How Senior Leaders in Public Sector Can Win At Social Media

WIN our Weekly Show Prize

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel or Podcast, leave a comment on any social network about the episode, use the hashtag #PublicSectorMarketingShow

Also get a 50% discount on a course of your choice with us!

Thank You for Listening!

Thank you for tuning into episode #3. If you are a regular listener, please rate and review our show.

Don’t forget to get in touch with your questions. I love hearing from my listeners, don’t be a social media stranger. Tweet me at: @JSTweetsDigital

If you would like to be a guest on the show, please get in touch. Email Joanne at

If you haven't already, please subscribe to The Public Sector Marketing Show or your preferred podcast platform.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *