In this month’s edition…

The top 20 UK councils for new online buzz

Spotlights stories:

  • Stirling Council: #hurricanebawbag – would your council have had the balls to use this hashtag?
  • South Northamptonshire Council: Silverstone ‘masterplan’ granted planning permission
  • Horsham District Council: Safety warnings over fake vodka

Buzz and Media Mix – News v Blogs v Twitter etc

The Top 20

These are the councils that have seen the biggest increases in the volume of online buzz they are attracting. The biggest movers (subject to them attaining a minimum number of references during the month – Districts = 100 mentions, Counties and Unitaries = 300) for this month are:

Spotlight stories

Now let’s take a look at some of the stories behind the buzz…

Stirling Council: #hurricanebawbag – would your council have had the balls to use this hashtag?

For many, the 8th December was a proud day to be Scottish. Despite the brutal hurricane-force winds battering the country, many Scots had a smile on their face as Scotland found itself at the centre of a media storm over its affectionate naming of the storm as “hurricane bawbag”.

For those unfamiliar with colloquial Scots, the term bawbag means scrotum. The mischievous epithet sparked a trending topic on Twitter, with #hurricanebawbag quickly becoming one of the top trending hashtags worldwide. Just a couple of hours after the term was coined there was already Hurricane Bawbag merchandise on sale, and by 5pm, the hurricane had its own Twitter and Facebook pages.

The hurricane’s Facebook page has a huge number of ‘Likes’

The worldwide adoption of the term – which utterly outstripped the official but comparatively dull name Hurricane Friedhelm and the hashtag #scotstorm – led to a dilemma for local authorities and the more upright members of the media community. What should they call it?

Hurricane Bawbag was cheerily adopted by STV and the Daily Record, but the name did not appear on the BBC website, and the Herald and Scotsman ignored it.

At lunchtime, Stirling Council broke ranks and became the first (and only) council to use the term in the following tweet:

This sparked a retweeting frenzy (in itself, highly unusual for council communications) and a great deal of popular approval: