The future of public service communications

I learn a lot from my peers. Research shows the importance of peer-to-peer communication and I know from my own studies that professional communicators prefer learning from each other.

HarrodsToday I had the privilege of hosting a workshop at the prestigious Harrods store in London for a group of comms pros from various organisations.

Over the course of our time together, I watched them gel, support each other and offer tips, advice and wisdom based on their own experiences.

Where can you learn from your peers? I’ve news of an upcoming conference where the future of public service communications will be discussed, debated and analysed.

Come and discuss the future of public service communications
Public Sector Communications Academy 2015 is happening from 10-12 November in Coventry, UK, and I’m delighted to be chairing a panel on the first day to discuss all things employee engagement related.

To become organisations capable of meeting new challenges, it is no good changing the processes, structures and bricks and mortar if we don’t have a workforce that has the right skills and behaviours to facilitate change.

I’m going to be joined by Michelle Cupples, lead for Internal Comms Excellence, BIS; Nick Page, CEX, Solihull Council; Alexandra Green, Head of Communications, Bromford Housing and Kate Shaw, Internal Comms Manager, Nationwide, to discuss what really effective staff engagement looks like.

Who’s attending the event?

TheAcademyCentral and local government communicators are attending the Academy to use this opportunity to refresh skills, meet face-to-face and learn from each other.

The topic is Challenge and Response: The future of public service communications.

It’s being hosted at The Welcome Centre, Coventry, (pictured) by Alex Aiken, Executive Director for Government Communications and Cormac Smith, Chairman, LGcommunications.

They say: “The future challenges for government communications, both local and central, are forged by the challenging times we live in. We are emerging from the deepest and longest recession in a generation so that the priority is to rebuild economic growth, where we will have to completely restructure all of our organisations and services.

“At the same time we face an ageing demographic and unprecedented explosion in digital reach, which is all conspiring to create a perfect storm at a local level.

Put simply, public service communications must adapt or become obsolete.

“Global and national issues such as the threat of terrorism, conflict and war fuelling the mass movement of people across borders, a diminution of public trust in some political processes and the rise of identity politics all add to the complexity of the environment in which we work.

Academy“That is why we bring central and local government together in this Academy. Our issues are interwoven. Government responses to global issues can have very local effects. Local responses, in turn, need to be both innovative and effective to drive real change and bring tangible improvements to people’s lives.

“Together, central and local communications professionals are developing some global, sector leading responses to these challenges. Our combined goal must be to create the best public service communications in the world.

“In order to rise to the challenge we need to understand the emerging challenges, develop new skills, embrace disruptive technology and change the culture of public service professionals. But with diminishing budgets and scarce resources where is it best to focus our attention?

“By attending the Academy you will hear from those leading change within our sector and help to define your own approach to meeting the challenges ahead.”

See the LGcommunications website for more information including tickets, accommodation and much more. You can find them on Twitter @LGcomms.

Want to see what’s on for comms pros?

See my comms calendar to discover what’s on.

Further reading: What’s on this week.

Want to book me to speak at your event? See the What we do page to find out more about working together.

Post author: Rachel Miller

First published on the All Things IC blog 5 November 2015.

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