Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Local government is changing – comms staff must change too

Simon Jones
  • Comment

The challenges facing local government communications today are almost unrecognisable to the job of old.

Ten years ago an old chief exec of mine referred to us as the ‘department of puff’. Evaluation was mainly in the form of media clippings lying on the floor.

Austerity, public sector reform, devolution, sweeping changes in the media landscape, social shifts and an explosion in digital reach is forcing us to re-think our job description.

Our role now is less about an A-Z of services and more about understanding the DNA of our communities. We’re being asked to go from engagement to enablement, from internal comms to culture change, from council cheerleaders to place-makers, from campaigners to collaborators.

Put simply, the job of communications in local government has never been more important, nor has there been a greater need for us to show real leadership in rising to these challenges.

That is why this year’s Public Sector Communications Academy is so important. This is our opportunity to understand the changing landscape around us to develop the skills that we need to respond.

Think about what our new job description looks like commercial acumen, business management skills, organisational change, collaboration, digital prowess, influencing and leadership have all been added as ‘must haves’ of the modern communications leader. Evaluation has to be less about media cuttings and more about proving that every pound and penny spent on communications improves the lives of the people we serve. If we cannot prove this we do not deserve to survive ourselves.

That is why it is imperative that your communications team is there. The academy, which this year is in the fantastic city of Liverpool, is jointly organised with the Government Communications Service, underlining the importance of collaboration across the public sector.

It’s a snip at just £198 for the full two days if you are an LGcomms member. I hope it will be the best £198 your comms team has spent.

The Public Sector Communications Academy is sponsored by LGC and will be held on November 1 and 2 at St George’s Hall in Liverpool. You can register at www.lgcomms.org.uk

Simon Jones, chair, LGcomms and assistant director of communications, Haringey LBC

New image

New image

 

Tags

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.