MoJ invests in social listening tool to tap into ‘significant volumes of conversations that impact our reputation’

Ministry signs three-year deal for software that will enable officials to keep track of two million mentions of its work each day – and almost 50 million going back over time

The Ministry of Justice has invested a six-figure sum in “social media and online listening” technology to enable officials to track millions of mentions of the organisation and its work.

Recently published commercial documents reveal that, last month, the MoJ entered into a three-year contract with Brandwatch – a specialist software publisher owned by PR firm Cision. The deal, which is valued at £50,000 a year, is intended to provide a tool that will allow the ministry “to monitor social media, blogs, forums and online media for specific relevant keywords, terms and topics”, according to the text of the contract.

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“The Ministry of Justice communicates across many social media, online and online channels such as Twitter, Google, YouTube and many other sites,” the contract notice said. “As such, there are significant volumes of conversations across these channels that directly impact our organisational reputation, campaigns and policy announcements. Communicating with our audiences – users and stakeholders – is an essential requirement for ensuring the successful delivery of MoJ priorities.”

The Brandwatch deal, which covers access for 100 individual users, will provide the MoJ with data on 48 million “historical mentions” online of the organisation, as two million “live mentions” each months. The ministry can specify 50 reference terms to track instances of on Twitter, and the same amount across Facebook and Instagram. Data gathered from these queries can then be accessed via the cloud software platform for a period covering the prior 24 months.

During the first month of the contract, the supplier “will organise a kick-off call… to define the MoJ objectives of the year and then a delivery plan to ensure we reach the desired” outcome, the contract said. This will be supplemented by periodic “check-in meetings” over the course of the engagement, and annual updates to examine the ministry’s overall objectives in each of the three years of the deal’s duration.

Sam Trendall

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