The GCS is the professional body for people working in communication roles across government. It’s aim is to deliver world-class communications that support Ministers’ priorities, improve people’s lives and enable the effective operation of our public service. It serves both politicians and the public.
How does it work?
There is a shared framework for planning campaigns – OASIS: objectives, audience insight, strategy/idea, implementation and scoring/evaluation. The approach is focused on four key stages – insight, ideas, implementation and impact. The aim is that a shared approach promotes consistency and helps to avoid duplication. There is a real focus on demonstrable results and effective use of resources to improve people’s lives.
Professional development and training
As a local government affiliate member I was lucky enough to be able to access an introduction to the GCS and hear from Alex Aiken – Executive Director. GCS communications professionals within the civil service, arm’s-length bodies and local government (as affiliate members) are able to access professional development and training with the GCS.
It’s evident that the GCS principles and ways of working are not yet embedded across government, but there are some excellent examples of good practice.
There is a focus on colleagues specialising, but also understanding communications requirements across digital, internal communications, strategic communications, media and campaigns and strategic engagement.
How does this apply to local government communications?
There is a great deal of crossover and learning that we can share between authorities and also government departments and arm’s-length bodies. It doesn’t make sense for different boroughs to be doing competitive fostering or similar recycling campaigns, especially when capacity and resources are dwindling.
A coordinated approach is a great way to break down barriers between teams (even within communications), across an organisation and between partners.
The approach that I take to planning and delivering creative and effective communications projects includes many of the principles of the GCS approach. My ‘project manager’ way of thinking means that I have a great affinity with the structure and evaluation focus. Due to limited resources and short project lead in times it is not always possible to work in this way, but something I aim to achieve. It is true that success is 95% in the planning and 5% in delivery!
How do you plan your campaigns?
Let me know what you think of this approach – whatever sector you are working in @katygibbins1