The packs that I wrote about last week have all been delivered to recipients.

I’ve had to keep reminding myself that this is only an experiment. At the very least, there will be five copies of Euan Semple’s book floating around BIS, for others to pick up and think about.

Some of the flaws that I have already identified with this approach:

  • Including a tablet may be misleading. I’ve received a few emails from recipients telling me that they are looking forward to road testing the device. I am grateful for the loan of the device as much as they are, I’m not particularly looking for five hardware reviews at the end.
  • One pack was passed on to a colleague of one of the intended recipients, because the original recipient told me she did not have time. That’s fine, because at least it tells me that we are still starting at an extremely low level of understanding regarding digital and civil service reform. And it may well be that in the letter I enclosed there wasn’t enough ‘take it or leave it’ and therefore people feel like it is a major commitment, rather than a gift.
  • The t-bomb was dropped by one recipient earlier this week. Again this is fine, because to a certain extent this person’s audience can be found and engaged with usefully on Twitter. A subsequent exchange of emails reminded me that it’s too easy to skip the basics with networks like Twitter. I was able to remind my colleague that Twitter is about conversations: look for some and join in. Don’t feel compelled to come up with original status updates all the time.

Finally, I have received loads of great feedback following my original blog post, and a few cautious responses too.

  • It’s worth reiterating that this is a very simple, low key experiment and just one of lots of different activities that the team are running.
  • I am definitely not looking for five new faces on Twitter as a result. This is not a drive to get people on social media, but listening to their audience online and thinking about how they and their colleagues can contribute.

I have made the letter template open access, so you can see how this was pitched and re-use, if you think it is useful.

I don’t expect to hear much more from my colleagues now, until after Christmas. I will be providing a gentle nudge in the first week of January, to see how they are getting on.