Quick guide to purdah and social media

In 2010 guidelines were issued on how to manage social media during purdah. What does this mean for your organisation?

What is purdah?

It's the time between when an election is announced and the final results of that election are announced. There are strict rules governing civil servants in pre-election period which means that all staff must ensure that public resources are not used for party political purposes or bring into doubt any impartiality. 

Does this include social media?

Yes. This means that any communication - including social media - has to be impartial and factual only. Not only are your official social media channels covered but those of any identified staff and councillors also come under purdah.

What next?

For the period of purdah you should consider;

  • Setting up social media searches and monitoring of all associated channels and accounts to ensure purdah rules are not being breached
  • Make it clear to anyone using social media channels in your team that no political parties or their representatives should be shared
  • Ensuring clear guidance around purdah and social media use is circulated to all staff and stakeholders
  • Make sure the public understand what this means for any comms and customer services channels moving forward
  • Considering taking full control of all social media channels in your organisation for the period of purdah

Read a very easy to understand full guide on Comms2Point0

Read the Local Government Association guide on communications during purdah

For detailed guidance you can download the election guidance for civil servants from GOV.UK

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