Looking back at my open letter to Paul Morrell, I realised that it would probably need to be printed out and posted to him, or at the very least emailed, so perhaps we need a post-script….
A public PS: Paul
I would be delighted to be proved wrong, but I suspect you probably don’t read many blogs, use Twitter or engage in m(any) social networks. Your communications probably revolve around email, but think what a powerful message it would send to the industry if you, the new Chief Construction Adviser, actually started to engage in online conversations with construction industry people?
Think about blogging, for example. Instead of relying on the traditional media to relay your ideas to the industry, you could speak direct to industry professionals, and read their reactions yourself. Having your own online ‘voice’ would also do wonders for your personal reputation.
Why not deploy online forums and polls to learn what people at the work-face think are important, to gauge reactions to your policies and plans, or ‘crowd-source’ innovative ideas to seemingly intractable problems?
And if you are serious about the future of the construction industry, you will also need to look at how we recruit and retain the industry professionals of tomorrow – many of this Gen Y (and Gen Z) cohort are highly conversant with networking platforms like Facebook, and will be making career choices influenced by such media.
You could even use Twitter. “Oh, I won’t have time for that,” I hear you say. Well, numerous MPs and even Government ministers such as Lord Drayson (post) are online regulars, often finding that Twitter and Web 2.0 tools such as RSS and Google Alerts saves time over other channels, so that ‘lack of time’ excuse carries little weight. You would also be in good company with another government adviser, director of digital engagement Andrew Stott, who both blogs and Tweets, and has nearly 3000 followers as a result.
[Update (04 December) - Much to my surprise and delight, Paul Morrell actually responded - see the comments to this post.]