UK Civic Tech Social Enterprise
We began working with mySociety towards the end of 2018. This social enterprise develops and shares digital technology that helps people around the world to be active citizens. Its products are used by millions of people in the UK every year: WhatDoTheyKnow to help people make Freedom of Information (FOI) requests; TheyWorkForYou, which makes it easy to see what your MP has been doing; and FixMyStreet to report street problems to councils. mySociety also works with public authorities – government departments and councils – to provide the software they need to empower citizens.
Our objective has been to drive forward mySociety’s active citizen mission and help generate funding by creating awareness of its commercial offerings. The civic tech sector has in the past been relatively self-contained, but mySociety is keen to reach out to institutions, looking for partnership opportunities as well as lobbying for change, and to ordinary people to encourage them to get involved in their community.
Our role has ranged from introducing new journalists to what’s happening in the civic tech world to highlighting how mySociety is helping local authorities provide better services to their residents; from encouraging journalist attendance at the TICTeC conferences to ensuring mySociety’s innovative projects are more widely recognised on the award circuit.
With the help of press releases, contributed articles, interviews and case studies we’ve been able to target a wide range of media, from national press and campaigning freelancers to trade press such as Smart Cities, Diginomica and Global Government Forum. We’ve also worked closely with mySociety’s marketing and communications manager to maximise incoming opportunities from the likes of Forbes, the BBC and the Times. We recently set up a meeting between mySociety’s CEO and GQ, which produced a very fair in-depth analysis of the pros and cons of tracking MP’s voting records.
Myfanwy Nixon, Marketing and Communications Manager, MySociety: “Working with Debbie and her team has definitely taken our PR up a level. Sometimes we underestimate the impact of our efforts and their professional expertise has helped us communicate that more effectively. We now have a much wider group of journalists who understand what we’re doing, which will help us raise awareness of the power of civic tech and hopefully encourage more people to be active citizens.”