A small fish in a big pond – local to central government communications

The transition

I would like to share my thoughts on my move from a local government to central government communications role.

Whilst I was job hunting I explored a number of private sector opportunities, but found myself coming back to, and feeling more comfortable with roles within the public service.

The UK Civil Service involves the expertise of 300,000 people, so I am often surprised at how many of them know each other work reach other departments in the past. I arrived during the post Brexit summer and inevitably this is a focus of many conversations and work priorities.

Continue reading A small fish in a big pond – local to central government communications

Events- it’s all in the detail, part 1 of 2

Where to start?

I love planning events. I am pretty ‘OCD’ when it comes to detail so the need to ‘dot all the ‘I’s’ and cross the ’T’s’’ required for event planning suits me well!

Some of the bigger events I have led include voluntary sector conferences, staff awards and community awards. I have also coordinated communications for the 2012 Olympic Paralympic torch relays in Lambeth, the Lambeth Country Show and fireworks events. Continue reading Events- it’s all in the detail, part 1 of 2

Communications guiding principles – across sectors and audiences

Introductioncommunication tags, abstract vector art illustration

During the course of this year, I have been lucky enough to visit/shadow a range of communications teams. The aim was to get a greater understanding of their priorities and how they work. Added to my own experience in local government communications, this blog summarises what I have learnt.

I discovered that although there are a lot of nuances and different terms used, there are key guiding principles which run throughout all professional communications teams.

I would like to thank to my hosts Alison Steel a very experienced and professional communications and marketing director at Kingston University and Paul Sandell the legal comms guru at Thomson Reuters.

Continue reading Communications guiding principles – across sectors and audiences

Why I love Storify

What is Storify?

Storify claims to ‘make the web tell a story’ and does just that. It’s a great finishing touch for post event or awards follow up to maximise publicity and engagement. For annual events, it is also useful for promoting the following year’s event. It’s free and really easy-to-use with a drag and drop interface. It is dependent on a range of media and interaction about the ‘story’ to be effective. Continue reading Why I love Storify

The Government Communication Service approach

GCSWhat is the Government Communication Service (GCS)?

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.

The GCS work to a government communications plan and handbook. Continue reading The Government Communication Service approach

LGCommunications – Community cohesion event

What was the event about?

coin streetLGCommunications delivered a great one day session focusing on a variety of community cohesion perspectives at Coin Street, SE1. During the course of the day, local government communications and policy professionals from London borough’s (and further afield such as Portsmouth) heard from a range of interesting speakers. Continue reading LGCommunications – Community cohesion event

The 21st Century Public Servant


This research project by Catherine Needham and Catherine Mangan at Birmingham university considers: What does it mean to be a 21st Century public servant?

What are the skills, attributes and values
which effective public servants will display in the future? How can people working in public services be supported to get those skills?

We know that public services are going through major changes in response to a range of issues such as cuts to budgets, increased localisation, greater demands for service user voice and control, increased public expectations and a mixed economy of welfare provision. Continue reading The 21st Century Public Servant

CIPR Local Public Services Group report – Influence for Impact

ciprlps coverWhat is it all about?

The CIPR Local Public Services Group have launched a research project in recognition that public services have been challenged and reshaped like never before.

They wanted to find out how communications professionals were coping, adapting and reinventing themselves in a context of budget cuts and increasing expectations. Continue reading CIPR Local Public Services Group report – Influence for Impact

Communications at the heart of devolution conference

BrumNewStreetInitial thoughts

I was lucky enough to attend this event in Birmingham at the impressive City Hall. I don’t normally venture north of the Thames so this was an adventure for me from the outset.

Devolution is a hot potato at the moment and I can’t say I’m an expert – I understand the theory, but I know that there is a lot of discussion and it’s early days across the country.

I wanted to find out how other comms bods were approaching this and how such a complex and nebulous concept could be approached with stakeholders, staff and the local community. Continue reading Communications at the heart of devolution conference

A top tip for success? Get your communications team in at the start

Ever wondered how you can get residents to engage with programmes? Or how you can communicate changes in your services better? Or have a successful launch?

One of my top tips would be to get your communications team in early.

By involving communications colleagues from the beginning we can understand the aims, plan against issues and create effective strategies to reach you key audiences.

Continue reading A top tip for success? Get your communications team in at the start