Vine and Instagram videos in local government

I had wanted to experiment with Vine and Instagram videos for a while. I wanted to see if they could be an effective way of engaging people with local government and promoting council services. The need to promote the Bradford Council app was an ideal time to try.

I chose to highlight just one feature of the app – the alert which reminds people of their bin collections. It only takes a few seconds to say how the app can help people remember their bin day, so short form videos seemed a good option. Here are our two creations, first on Instagram and then on Vine:

Never forget your bin day – download the Bradford Council app. #localgov #app

A post shared by Bradford Council (@bradfordmdc) on

Although Bradford Council doesn’t currently have many followers on Vine or Instagram, my hope is that people will appreciate these videos and will share them via Twitter and Facebook respectively, where we have a greater chance of reaching our customers.

Accessories: 3 tins of curry and 3 cartons of soy milk

I spent half a day with Edith and Esther of Bradford Council’s recycling department to make the videos. We used an iPad to capture the video, but that was as high-tech as it got. I used 3 tins of curry and 3 cartons of soy milk as a makeshift tripod to balance the iPad above my phone to record its screen. This expedient approach was partly inspired by hearing how Neil Jones of Torfaen Council and Alison Hook of Coventry Council have kept the costs down while working on videos.

I’ve said before that I think we should use more video in local government. Sometimes these will be meticulously shot and edited, but there is also merit in the “shoot, edit , post” principle mentioned by Dan Slee in Dave Briggs’s recent podcast.

So, what do you think of my mini-creations? Does the message work in such a short format?  If you have also used Vine and Instagram for local government I’d like to hear about it. Let me know in the comments below, catch me on Twitter, or elsewhere online.


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I am a digital communications and marketing officer for Bradford Council and a musician.

3 thoughts on “Vine and Instagram videos in local government”

  1. Well done. Simple, effective – intelligent. I have always advocated the use of video and the best tech for the job. Some Councils have lavish studios and high production costs – but they are not needed.

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