Date Prepared by

12th November 2013 Policy & Capability team, Prime Minister’s O ice & Cabinet O ice

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1. Mana!ement s"mmary
The purpose of the review is to assess how the digital aspects of Government communication and engagement are planned and executed, and how can the !e improved. The review was underta"en ! three independent reviewers. The !rought complementar s"ills and experience to the review, and a deep "nowledge of digital communication. 1.1 #indings The reviewers saw some inspiring examples of digital content, tools, assets and engagement. The met with some senior leaders who were passionate a!out helping the civil service "eep up with the wa technolog is used outside of government. $oc"ets of good practice notwithstanding, the headline finding is that digital communication in government is developing well in specialist teams !ut less so in the mainstream. The conse%uence is that it is !eing outpaced ! the !est of the commercial and &G' worlds. Too much is (!roadcast) * i.e. one+wa * and does not see" to engage. ,nd, cruciall , it is still treated ! man in departmental leadership positions as an area where the ris"s outweigh the !enefits. -n some departments the case for getting more from digital communication and engagement has not !een made sufficientl well. 2 V3.4 12/11/13

The reviewers found a mix of frustration with, and admiration for, the award+winning, G'V../ platform, and with G01, the organisation which runs it. 1ome of the frustrations revolve around the perception of a mismatch !etween departments) expectations regarding campaigning needs and G01) role and resources. G01 and 0irectors of 2ommunication need to wor" much more closel and colla!orativel . There was also widespread condemnation of current government -T, !oth on the des" top !ut also importantl for mo!ile. 1ome of this is due to economic constraints, much is also due to access constraints of disputa!le necessit . The reviewers found evaluation to !e patch and inconsistent. -n man cases this is !ecause clear+ headed planning, o!3ective+setting and targeting is lac"ing. 1.2 4ecommendations -mproving o!3ective+setting and evaluation, ma"ing digital communication mainstream and closer colla!oration with G01, would all !ring significant !enefits. The reviewers) recommendations are founded on a simple set of principles and a (manifesto), to !ring a!out a pace of change at scale. The !iggest !arriers to this are to do with -T, s"ills and with attitudes to ris". The reviewers !elieve that these are largel perception+!ased and can !e tac"led pragmaticall and effectivel .

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2. #bo"t the revie$
2.1 '!3ectives and terms of reference The purpose of the review is to assess the digital communication capa!ilities across government and ma"e recommendations for improvement. Ver little communication does not have a digital aspect. This review came a!out !ecause digital communication is a fast developing area and one which has repeatedl presented as an area of concern and development focus in the departmental communication capa!ilit reviews 52611+137. Given the potential scale and !readth of the tas", the review team needed to ensure that the scope and o!3ectives were managea!le. The focus on improvement means that the review is more concerned with finding practical and effective levers for change than with comprehensivel auditing capa!ilit . The reviewers loo"ed a wide range of communication, from8 internal communication9 to news, media relations and announcements9 to corporate communications9 communication focussing on service provision9 information provision9 and campaign communication aiming for attitudinal shift and !ehaviour change. 2.2 :vidence !ase i. 2apa!ilit reviews 51; completed7

ii. $ro3ect initiation interviews with 0igital <eaders ! =umphre $ring 5>ul 26137 iii. 0igital communications surve 5>ul 26137, completed ! each department iv. :vidence from cross government communications teams at 2a!inet 'ffice and &o.16. v. 4eview wor"shops 5two issues wor"shops, one evaluation wor"shop and a recommendations+shaping wor"shop7

vi. 4eview interviews 5almost 36 completed7 vii. 4eviewers) own experience and "nowledge

2.3 4eviewers ● 4ichard ?agnall * one of the founders and the @anaging 0irector of @etrica and su!se%uentl Gor"ana GroupAs @anaging 0irector of Glo!al -nsights and ,nal sis post integration of the !usinesses. =e chairs The -nternational ,ssociation for the @easurement and :valuation of 2ommunications) 5,@:27 1ocial @edia @easurement Group, is a mem!er of the 2-$4 1ocial @edia $anel, of the 1ocial @edia 2onclave wor"ing to esta!lish standards in social media measurement, and is a co+author of Bile ?usiness $u!lishing)s (1hare This) C (1hare This Too), having written the chapters in !oth !oo"s on measuring communications in a digital world. 4ichard left Gor"ana in

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2613 and now runs 2omms 2larit 2onsulting where he advises organisations of all siDes the !est wa s to plan and measure their mainstream media and digital communication. ● 2hris ?ir"ett * has more 26 ears of leadership experience in national television, radio and digital news 3ournalism. =e is currentl 2onsultant :ditor at the Telegraph @edia Group, where he is wor"ing on the digital transformation of the editorial operation. $reviousl 2hris was at 1" , where as 0eput =ead and :xecutive :ditor of 1" &ews from 266E until 2613 he was responsi!le for all the organisationAs 3ournalism on television and radio. #rom 266F+2611, 2hris also ran the multi+ platform digital production department at 1" &ews which launched its award+winning i$ad and $hone apps. -n his earlier ??2 career, 2hris had senior roles in the launch of ??2 ; <ive and ??2 &ews 24, where he was the first @anaging :ditor. -n 2616 2hris was the recipient of the >udges ,ward from the 4o al Television 1ociet for his role in negotiating the deal which !rought a!out the historic TV <eadersA 0e!ates during the 2616 General :lection 2ampaign. ● @ax 1t >ohn * @anaging 0irector at social !usiness consultanc &ixon@c-nnes, where his clients have included the #oreign and 2ommonwealth 'ffice, ?-1 and BB#+./, on pro3ects that range from digital transformation programmes to leadership coaching.

2.44eview 14'8 ,nthon 1imon, =ead of 0igital at 2a!inet 'ffice C &o.16.

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3. Conte%t and bac&!ro"nd
3.1 The proliferation and transformative effect of digital technolog is well documented elsewhere. -ts impact has !een extensive, from the opportunities afforded ! (!ig data) to the role that social media pla s, as societ shifts (from the age of deference to the age of reference). @an organisations offer proprietar we!sites, digital tools and applications for mo!ile devices in order to inform and engage customer groups. @an also use third part social media for reputation management, customer intelligence, customer service, and to manage demand. These tools are also !ecoming more common in internal communication practice.

3.2 The civil service has am!itions which are in step with this societal change. 2ivil 1ervice 4eform sets out to ma"e ‘… the Civil Service more skilled, digital and unified’. The government has a digital strateg to ensure that its vision for digitall ena!led services and information are delivered. ,ctions 4 and 14 of this strateg are concerned with digital capa!ilit and with using digital channels to engage with and consult the pu!lic.

3.3 The government communication capa!ilit reviews were initiated in ,utumn 2611 ! the 2ommunications 0eliver ?oard 5more details here7. ,t the time of writing 51eptem!er+&ovem!er 26137 all !ut two departmental capa!ilit reviews have !een completed. There are a num!er of common themes emerging across these, including the varia!ilit of digital communications and how much is still treated as the preserve of specialists.

3.4 The reviews and the surve s have revealed that digital communications teams wor" in different structures in different departments. 0epartments such as =@42 and 0B$ have significant deliver responsi!ilities. 'thers, such as =@T and 0efra have a predominantl polic focus. 0epartments such as #2', 0:22 and 0f-0 have information provision at the core of their purpose. Thus the role for digital communication varies accordingl .

3.; 0epartments have var ing technical and practitioner s"ills levels in their digital teams and in their wider communication teams. ,s departments have migrated to the G'V../ platform, man digital teams have seen an alteration of their roles.

3.E The senior owner of the 0igital communications capa!ilit review is the :xecutive 0irector of Government 2ommunications 5:0G27 and his nominated deput directors 14's, the head of polic C capa!ilit and the head of digital at &o.16 and the 2a!inet 'ffice. -n addition the directors of communication 50o2s7 are the leadership cadre which will !e ta"ing forward the review findings and recommendations supported ! 0igital <eaders as necessar . The have !een involved in the process !oth in inputs and in shaping the recommendations. =owever !ecause a "e principle of the report is that digital communications is not E V3.4 12/11/13

specialist !ut mainstream, the ultimate focus for the review is not 0igital <eaders or senior communications leaders, though the are "e influencers, !ut the wider government communications communit as a whole. -ndeed, the communications profession should exemplif 214 52ivil 1ervice 4eform7 and influence the wider civil service.

4. 'op(line indin!s and areas or improvement
The findings are divided into six areas. There are areas of overlap !etween these and the are not exhaustive. The serve as a framewor" for developing recommendations. #indings are set out in note form. 4.1 1etting o!3ectives, developing strateg and underta"ing consistent and meaningful evaluation ● Too man communications initiatives lac" clear o!3ectives and definition of am!itions 5evidence supported ! the capa!ilit reviews7 and this has a corresponding effect on defining the role for digital. The reviewers found that much digital communication and engagement is still delivered in transmit mode, following the old (top+down) one+wa !roadcasting of messages rather than conducting conversations that modern communications involves. 'nl rarel is digital a trul integral part of service deliver or polic development, and pla ing a strategic role in driving efficienc , %ualit or colla!oration with external sta"eholders. Bhere o!3ectives are set the tend to !e focussed on (output) metrics such as follower num!ers, li"es, re+ tweets and not on changing perceptions, attitudes and !ehaviours. This leads to a !ox+tic"ing approach to digital tools, sometimes with an apparent desire to impress managers rather than achieve worthwhile outcomes.

4.2 <eadership, culture C ris"s ● There is an over+riding pre+occupation with ris"s and a pervasive a lac" of trust in staff o o ,ppetite for ris" varies, according to the political c cle and department context. =owever it seemed that reputation management o!3ectives have a disproportionate influence on the use of digital and social media, and are the "e drivers of a ris"+averse culture that discourages some people from digital engagement. -n some departments there is a general fear of mista"es. Get digital engagement can)t !e scaled up without placing more trust in staff.

4esistance to change o 'verall, participants o!served that there are plent of meetings a!out digital !ut change seems slow. 1ome colleagues are !loc"ers, wanting to "eep the status %uo and are concerned with implications of digital for the wa !usiness is underta"en. 'thers have a disproportionate concern a!out -T securit , o!scuring the !enefits argument 5see (ris"s), a!ove7.


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2urrentl the digital communications influencer networ" is ad hoc and in some cases seems wea" at more senior levels. The !iggest changes seem to happen through leadership changes. 0epartmental structures do not fit with networ"ed nature of social media. -nternal information cascades feel ver one+wa , not discursive and interactive.


-T o 2ommunicators have patch 5though improving7 access to social media. -n man cases this is due to permissions, not technolog per se. These restrictions also appl to hand+ held devices such as ?lac"?err s. -n man departments, especiall larger ones, large -T contracts and securit re%uirements impair access to social media and in man cases prohi!it the use of current we! !rowsers. 'lder !rowsers are no longer supported and therefore present securit ris"s. ?ut overall in man cases the data securit ris"s seem over+exaggerated and !loc"s are in place due to permissions not s stem constraints. ?ut in man departments the picture is o!scure !ecause the -T securit rationale is not made simple, clear and accessi!le. -t is paradoxical and frustrating for communications people to !e una!le to access the milieu in which the are expected to gather information from and engage in.



4.3 1"ills and capa!ilities ● There is some !ut not nearl enough sharing of ideas and approaches. The heads of digital comms group, the Tea+camps and presentations 5such as those hosted ! G2& or 0efra7 are examples of good colla!oration. ?ut overall there are poor levels of sharing good practice and learnings, especiall at more routine levels. -n an interview one summarised it as8 “We’re all finding our own way. Separately. 5=ead of news interviewee.7 ● @ost communications professionals use social media outside of wor". 1"ills deficiencies are mainl to do with confidence and 3udgement in using technolog in a professional context. The include8 o o o o practice and familiarit with protocols9 creativit 9 mar"eting content so it reaches the right target groups9 and design and !uild. This is seen as more specialist and more usuall something to !e procured or outsourced than trained.

There are some technical experts unevenl distri!uted across some departments. There is general uncertaint whether the should !e located in communications teams at all. G01 has people who can !uild off the G'V../ platform, though there not enough to meet the level and pace of demand across F V3.4 12/11/13

government, leading to frustration and dela . This could !e due to the lac" of clarities on roles and responsi!ilities 5e.g. what does/doesn)t G01 do and what could or should departments do7. ● -nternal communications is seen ! man as a development opportunit which offers a safer testing C development ground, in particular for departmental leaders. The provision of internal social networ"s and communications tools is patch and in man places, seems inade%uate. Guidelines are long and man respondents said the found them off+putting. -nteractive training can !e more effective in improving practices. The opportunit and encouragement to put new s"ills into action are where much professional development and organisational change occurs.

4.4 2ontent development and mar"eting ● Though there are some good examples of video, animation, still and digital tools, there is a lac" of diversit in t pes of content and an over+riding focus on Twitter. The reviewers detected that there was still an ethos of (?uild it C the will come) and (sending out stuff) * thought more in departmental leadership than in communications teams. These mind+sets often result in ver low content views and poor levels of engagement and response. The reviewers saw some, !ut not enough, use of digital to engage sta"eholder in de!ate, or social media to ma"e internal communications more interactive. The government)s we!site is G'V../. This has a user+needs !ased approach to ma"ing information simple, clearer and faster to access. -t replaced cum!ersome and non+citiDen+orientated departmental we!sites. The G'V../ design is tas" focussed and is eas to use if ou are searching ! issue. ?ut it8 doesn)t lend itself readil to !ehaviour+change communications9 doesn)t encourage sharing or engagement through social channels !ecause it does not include eas sharing !uttons 5though there are discussions a!out addressing this via the G'V../ steering group and G01 reports that Twitter sharing !uttons will !e trialled ! the end of 261379 and o is perceived ! departments of having a rigid format which ensures consistenc !ut constrains innovation around campaigning.

o o

4.; 1tructures * across government, within departments and within digital teams ● $an+government o There is no clear leadership in developing digital communication and engagement. The digital leaders) cadre seems more focussed on other areas such as digitising transactional services. The result is that, for example, different tools are !eing trialled and !ought in different departments, with limited formalised coordination and sharing. 5,s noted in 4.3 this happens informall .7 This could !e improved in part ! 0o2s and 0igital <eaders wor"ing together more closel in some departments. I V3.4 12/11/13


The Government 0igital 1ervice 5G017 is seen ! much of the government communications communit as operating at a remove from government departments, !oth ph sicall and in terms of close colla!oration. This could !e in part due to a lac" of colla!oration !etween 0o2s and G01, which is !eing addressed. Bithin departments o There is no natural home for digital comms expertise in departments, mainl !ecause departments are so different. The reviewers were impressed with, among others8 The 0epartment of =ealth, whose 0igital <eader has split her team into two parts. 'ne focuses across the departments remit and is occupied with helping the department to use technolog across its remit. The other has a closer focus on communication and sta"eholder engagement. 0efra, which has a horiDon+scanning team whose role it is to provide intelligence a!out immediate and medium/longer term events, predominantl using social media and pu!licl availa!le intelligence and, criticall , uses this intelligence to inform polic , service deliver and resource management.



Bithin communication directorates o ,ll departments have digital communication and engagement specialists. -n man , the digital teams focus on two !road areas of wor". The first is providing consultanc advice and expertise and helping the spread of s"ills and confidence. The second is in providing deliver where re%uired, wor"ing with G01 colleagues, using their own resources or commissioning suppliers * whether for larger !uilds or developing simple info+graphics. − The reviewers gained the sense that the G'V../ platform has reduced the amount of time spent on digital pu!lishing in some departments. There seemed to !e enormous variation !etween departments in the amount of digital pu!lishing re%uired. o @an specialists remar"ed to reviewers that digital communication is positioned as the preserve of specialists and that the found themselves too focussed on deliver . There was some evidence of duplication of wor" * for example we! content and a press notice on the same issue !eing developed ! two different people. There were concerns that if the were !ased in media relations teams the would focus too much on tactics 5predominantl with Twitter7, and not meet wider needs. -nternal communications teams are often not owners of their technolog and are not integrated with digital comms teams, meaning that the ma not !e a!le to ensure that their department has tools that are fit for purpose and will !uild digital s"ills and confidence internall .



4.E 'ther main findings 16 V3.4 12/11/13

, great deal of discussion initiated ! interviewees was a!out the G'V../ platform 5see 4.4 a!ove7. The reviewers concluded that 0o2s and G01 did not have sufficientl close levels of close wor"ing, and that this is onl now !eginning to improve. @uch of internal communication seems one+wa and not discursive. The opportunities for using social media for internal communications are under+exploited. -n larger departments this is seen as hard to manage. -n man cases it needs little direct management, !ut guidelines in place to "eep dialogue constructive and productive. The potential !enefits are for internal digital communications to !uild digital s"ills and confidence in a safe setting, to improve colla!oration, "nowledge sharing and innovation, which will ultimatel improve efficienc and effectiveness of teams and departments.

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5. Principles or !overnment di!ital comm"nications
The reviewers wor"ed with interviewees and wor"shop participants to develop principles to help guide development of the review)s recommendations. )e need to &eep "p $ith mainstream comm"nication techni*"es ;.1 Without clear planning and o!"ective#setting what we do is unlikely to !e effective 5and how would we "now if it is an wa 7J Brite down our communication o!3ectives, including the audience that ou are targeting, so the are unam!iguous and can !e agreed ! leaders and polic clients. -t is critical that the o!3ectives for the use of digital are clearl aligned to departmental, polic or service o!3ectives, in order to !e efficient, effective and get support from senior teams. ;.2 $ntelligent evaluation is essential. /nowing ou will do it provides discipline in activit planning. $roviding num!ers out of context is not evaluation. @easurement criteria must !e clearl aligned to the o!3ective and intended outcomes. (@ar"eting) our communications results internall , while understanda!le, is not the same as providing dispassionate evaluation. $eer evaluation sign off helps to provide credi!ilit . ,nd if our communications initiative 5or elements of it7 does not achieve o!3ectives, share our learnings so ou and others can !enefit from them. ;.3 Content is crucial. %hankfully &overnment is not short of engaging material . ?e creative in developing it. <oo" !e ond Twitter. .se video, info+graphics and widgets, among other things * !e driven ! what is most appropriate to the audience and what can !e done to time and cost. ;.4 'elivering the content effectively is as important as developing it in the first place . 2ommunicators should decide who the want to reach and what the !est wa to reach them is while the develop the content, not after. This should include via third part platforms. Getting 1,666 views for a piece that was intended to target the wider population is li"el to !e time wasted if it too" significant resource to develop.

Di!ital o$nership ;.; 'igital is mainstream. $t shouldn’t !e ‘owned’ !y a particular team . There is clearl a role for ver small digital comms teams to lead innovation, creativit , editorial s"ills and %ualit assurance. These should reside in Bhitehall departments, to !e responsive. ?ut for the mainstream communicator, effective use of the essential digital tools to do our 3o! should !e supported and made mandator as soon as possi!le. ,ll media relations teams should !e a!le to pu!lish we! stories and write 146 character summaries of their announcements without needing to hand over to a (specialist). &o one should need their digital team to re+tweet. The should !e a!le to engage and where necessar re!ut on Twitter, where appropriate and where it will save time ! providing clarit fast. ,ll need to understand the much more pu!lic and potentiall enduring nature of online conversations. This does not mean toda )s digital comms teams should 12 V3.4 12/11/13

disappear into press offices, which would ma"e them too tactical in focus. 0igital has a "e role and !rings leading+edge thin"ing, driving innovation and testing new ideas in internal communications, in sta"eholder communications and corporate communication. ;.E Communications leaders should have a stronger voice in &().*+ . The site is an enormous achievement and is still evolving. The reviewers recommend that the =omelands C em!assies approach !e adopted, which would position G'V../ as the natural homeland for communication assets. The reviewers concluded that communications leaders should have more influence in G'V../ governance and direction. This means pla ing an active role in the G'V../ steering group for example.

#ttit"des to ris& need to be balanced, lo!ical and in ormed by b"siness need+

;.H2hange needs strong leadership, and an intelligent, realistic approach to concerns a!out risk. -t re%uires political sensitivit on the part of civil servants, matched with a wider departmental acceptance of how the world is changing.

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6. # mani esto or chan!e or di!ital comm"nication leaders
E.1 To deliver change in line with principles in section 3 and at a pace demanded ! 214 re%uires co+ordinated leadership, firm commitment and a pac"age of support. E.2 -t is framed as (we) * i.e. a set of commitments made ! (we) the leaders of communications in government to ou, communications professionals.

Comm"nications leaders’ mani esto or chan!e
0igital communication and engagement is an essential part of the modern communicator)s repertoire in order to deliver our !usiness o!3ectives. 0igital communication and engagement is not 3ust for communications professionals !ut applies to all civil servants in the wa their interactions with colleagues and external sta"eholders. Government communication must change to em!race digital more widel to meet rising expectations and to deliver greater efficiencies. Be have set out three guiding principles to anchor change8 To "eep up with the wa information is accessed, di!ital comm"nication in !overnment sho"ld be a core s&ill or all, not a specialist area, ! end of 2614. 0igital communication s"ills must include a firm grasp of planning, o!3ective setting and measurement / insights. Comm"nications leaders, Di!ital ,eaders and -D. m"st $or& more closely to!ether * a more colla!orative approach is needed to get the most out of G'V../. and other G01 services. Be mustn)t let a ris"+averse culture !loc" innovative and impactful digital comms * attit"des to ris& need to be balanced, pra!matic and in ormed by b"siness need . /ey commitments to enable this are0 o #ccess and technolo!y. Be will give ou access to the sites where our audiences are. Be will trust ou not to misuse this. Be will improve the -T availa!le to ou. o -overnance and leadership * senior colleagues will support ou in ma"ing digital mainstream9 to set out its !enefits9 and ma"e sure it is integrated into communications as a whole and made mainstream. Be will provide clarit over roles and decision+ma"ing 5including that of G01 with respect to communications7. o 1mprove s&ills trainin! and development * to em!ed digital s"ills man need practice and not 3ust training, to !e given the chance to tr out what the have learned. This is not a one+off. Gou will !e supported in emerging channels, tools and techni%ues 5and given a (no %uestion too stupid) amnest 7. o 2"d!ement and ris& mana!ement. Gou will get !asic social media training if ou need it. -nternal communication is a relativel safe area for learning and practicing those s"ills. 1taff should feel supported if the ma"e a mista"e, so the 5and colleagues7 can learn from and share from an

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errors. ?ut all should !e a!le to appl the civil service code to their wor". -n return we want a commitment from communicators to put digital s"ills high on our development priorities, em!ed digital in what ou do and push our colleagues and managers to do the same.

7. 3ecommendations 4 areas or development $or&
To support the manifesto and to achieve change, the reviewers identified six main areas for improvement. H.1 2ulture, leadership, understanding of ris"s ● 0epartmental executive teams should set out the am!ition, manage ris" and champion a digitall ena!led civil service 5as set out in 2147.


This includes moving awa from digital communications as a stand+alone concept and towards positioning digital communications as an ena!ler of !usiness transformation and !etter wa s of wor"ing. ?enefits case * 0o2s to develop, with finance officers, a case which sets out the opportunities for savings in using more digital communications than current model. <eaders should wor" to create organisation cultures which are open to evaluation. This means missed o!3ectives * as opposed to reputation+damaging errors * should !e openl and activel shared so that learning can !e productivel used, as long as the learnings are used productivel . ● 0epartments to !uild ris" management and crisis management around social media. 51ee for example =elpful)s simulator.7 0igital teams to run surgeries themed8 (no %uestion too stupid). 1enior leaders to attendK Tac"le standard o!3ections around securit , virus ris"s and staff time+wasting on social media. 2risis management * clarif communications access and decision+ma"ing protocols for G'V../ in the event of a crisis. 0o2s and 0igital <eaders, 2hief 0igital 'fficers and securit colleagues to wor" with 2T's to ensure a !alanced view of the ris"s of third part tools. :xecutive teams to ma"e informed access decisions as a result. 5:xpert input from the 2a!inet 'ffice legal team, the 'ffice for 1ecurit and 2ounter+Terrorism and 2ivil 2ontingencies 1ecretariat could !e sought to disseminate !etween real and perceived threats.7



● ● ●

H.2 1etting o!3ectives, developing strateg and underta"ing evaluation that is more useful ● :nsure the specific role of digital is specified within communication framewor". 51ee G2& campaign planning framewor".7 1; V3.4 12/11/13

:valuation * G2& to wor" with ,@:2 to develop an evaluation framewor" that is flexi!le enough to appl across a range of communication o!3ectives and activities, et provide consistenc across government reporting. G2& to clarif the difference !etween monitoring and evaluation tools and services. G2& to provide a recommended resource selection of !oth free and paid for monitoring tools, clearl indicating which each are !est suited for. &? credi!le and meaningful evaluation can rarel !e done purel (with a tool)9 it re%uires time and 3udgement, context and relevance as well as shaping and tailoring to differing departmental and specific campaign o!3ectives. 'nl this wa can the evaluation focus on measuring what matters, as opposed to 3ust counting !asic outputs. G2& to develop case studies * halls of fame and shame * to show what good and not so good loo"s li"e.

H.3 1"ills and capa!ilities ● 0evelop evaluation !est practice and a standard framewor". 5This is now forming a specific wor"+stream.7 1et out simple common standards and pu!licise which department uses what tool. :.g. =ootsuite is used ! eight departments. 4eview and integrate !asic digital s"ills into communication competencies. 5Treated in the same wa as !asic grammar.7 To include content distri!ution. @ove from linear and length $0# guidelines. The must !e succinct and use plain :nglish. 1tor +telling is a good wa to help e%uip less experienced professionals with more sophisticated 3udgement. (Twitter in ten) and video content are also ideas reviewers li"ed.

● o

-n addition, G2& to8 Test and recommend particular digital comms training courses and how to sessions 5and insist that all who attend courses review and rate them7. 1hare names of individuals who can advise on !est+practice 5for example how to engage specific audience groups7. Target external recruitment and interchange. 0evelop a sand!ox for social media so participants can pla on interactive online training in !asics of social. $romote peer to peer learning and sharing in a similar wa to Teacamps 0evelop a centralised digital asset+management resource for all departments.


o o o o

H.4 2ontent development and deliver ● 0o2s 50irectors of 2ommunications7 should develop and lead a centre of excellence for case studies, including stor +telling and !ehaviour change examples. 0o2s to wor" with G01 to discuss how a =omelands C em!assies approach might !e developed, and how it could support !ehavioural o!3ectives 5this will !e part of the proposition review7. 1E V3.4 12/11/13

, champion for content excellence is needed, to encourage creativit and !oost standards. #or example the champion would encourage the use of imager and interactive tools to !rea" down otherwise length narratives. =e/she would lead the drive to ma"e sure information is intuitive and accessi!le rather than static (!rochure+ware). 1"ills development is also re%uired to help ensure effective audience reach.

H.; 1tructure ● ● ● G2& and G01 to clarif their respective roles, responsi!ilities and how the engage. 0o2s and 0igital <eaders to wor" together to clarif role of communication in digital strateg . 0epartmental executive teams should sign off their respective social media strategies and access 5should not !e done at 2T' level7. The need to !e developed ! 0o2s in consultation with 0igital <eaders. @ainstream digital in comms ! end of 2614. The onl remaining digital comms teams will have s"ills which are technical, research, innovation, campaigning, content management or engagement networ" management. 1o (digital) ma not !e the right moni"er. Give internal communications 5and others that need it7 control over digital communications in their area.

H.E ,dditional recommendations ● Clarify the role of8 the Government 2ommunications &etwor" 5for example in setting up departmental wor"ing groups to procure evaluation tools79 G01 5for example in digital asset investment approval79 and 0igital <eaders. 'irectors of Communications 50o2s7 should wor" with their respective 0igital <eaders to attend the G'V../ 1teering Group with respect to communication matters. Work through the opportunities / constraints that G'V../ presents to communicators developing campaigns 51ee G2& guidance here and here.7 ,mnesty for all * from 3unior to senior people * until end of 2614. 1taff will wor" with people at ever level of confidence and experience to ma"e sure the can use digital to do their wor" -odernise the default approach to doing an old fashioned, la!our+intensive press notice * if it)s not needed, don)t spend time over+engineering it. :%uall , news teams will still need clear, referenced information, details for news crews if sending a camera etc. =old regular (Church of .ail’ platforms to share campaigns that did not wor" as well as hoped, alongside the successes and to identif what we can learn from !oth. /ole models to promote good examples of engagement and champion %ualit content.

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8. ."mmary
The reviewers would li"e to than" all participants * including those who engaged online, in meetings, wor"shops or interviews * for their positive contri!ution to the report. ,lthough the reviewers found an enormous level of variation in standards and practice in digital communications across government, the positive attitudes, the openness a!out wea"nesses, and the desire to improve were consistent. This was enormousl appreciated and made the tenor of the review extremel positive. This appetite for improvement is exactl what is needed to tac"le the challenges that face government communicators. ,lthough the are considera!le, the are shared with other organisations, pu!lic and private sector ali"e. The include8 • • • • 2ultural challenges to do with attitudes to ris" and confidence in empowering staff to interact in a pu!lic medium9 The need to !uild !asic s"ills and proficienc to give staff the confidence in their a!ilit to anticipate, identif and mitigate against ris"s9 The need to measure what matters across the communications channel mix, and not 3ust counting !asic outputs9 and The need for much closer levels of colla!oration. This applies8 at senior levels in departments9 !etween communications leaders and G019 !etween practitioners * for example in sharing good practice in evaluation and wor"ing with agencies9 and also with external partners, for example in developing alliances.

,s a closing point, although digital communications can dramaticall increase the permea!ilit of !oundaries !etween government and the citiDens it serves, and in so doing ena!le instant and large+scale conversations9 man of the core communications principles remain the same. These include a rigorous focus on o!3ectives, a deep understanding of the end audience that communicators wish to reach, and creative thin"ing a!out how to ma"e the message relevant and memora!le to that audience. This applies to all communications whatever the channel mix.

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9. 3evie$er recommended action !rid
I.1 To deliver change the reviewers have some specific suggestions and indicators for implementation in six and 12 months. These are !ased on the manifesto and the six areas for development and improvement.

1tem 0aunch -anifesto

#ction in si% months ,ll 'oCs to develop departmental response to manifesto

#ction in 12 months ,ssess change )s manifesto commitments

@anifesto includes the following elements 1. 2ulture, leadership C Bor"ing group to develop !enefits 5,ctions dependent on decisions of !oards7 ris"s, including cases using examples from reputation and transactional services and from polic + securit ris"s orientated departments. To involve 2a!inet 'ffice 2hief 0igital 'fficer and 2hief 'perating 'fficer Bor"ing group to report to 214 !oard and G21 !oard with findings and recommendations 2. 1"ills G2& and departments to develop ,ll communicators to pass competenc level mandator digital s"ills professional 5! end 26147 development :valuation framewor" developed ! ,ll departments to showcase use of wor"ing group with ,@:2 for adoption evaluation framewor" and integration across government $rocurement framewor" for approved 5including G017 evaluation tools. 2ontent champions group to showcase Teams to enter awards to compare government content on G2& we!site. government digital content with the To include third part developed !est of the private sector. content using Govt data ,ssessment of evaluation results from all 1H departments showing content reaching and impacting "e audiences 0o2s to decide what information the :vidence structural changes to ensure re%uire on different structural options. digital is more mainstream and less silo+ed. 0o2s active engagement, wor"ing with G01 colla!orating closel with =o0 and their digital leader on the G'V../ 0o2s 1teering Group 1I V3.4 12/11/13

3. '!3ectives, strateg and evaluation

4. 2ontent development and deliver

;. 1tructures

E. ,dditional recommendations

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#nne% 4 5eedbac&
1ummar of feed!ac" on digital capa!ilit review 16.1 ,!out This ,nnex summarises the feed!ac" on a draft review report which was posted on the G2& we!site, comments were received until the 11th 'cto!er. -t also ta"es into account some written feed!ac" supplied directl to the team. 1ome of this has alread !een incorporated into the revised draft. There were man comments posted across the different recommendations, culture and leadership and content development and deliver had particularl high levels of interest and de!ate.

Bhat follows !elow is a succinct high+level summar . Be have grouped all the feed!ac" under the recommendation headings.

16.2 #eed!ac"

16.2.1 2ulture, leadership, ris"sL.and -T M 2ulture and leadership o There was general consensus that strong leadership is re%uired to drive the digital agenda, and this includes forcing s"ills improvement, more 3oined up wor"ing and colla!oration and attention to ris" management. <eadership can also act as an inhi!itor to change N...leadership and removing !arriers is the "e to having an effective digital communicationLN



4is"s o #eed!ac" ac"nowledged that this is a complex issue. ,lthough there was ma3orit support for devolving the use of digital communications to people outside specialist teams there was recognition that this (ris") needed to !e managed carefull though carefull planned content strategies staff adhering to other guidance such as the civil service code, and ensuring staff are full aware of the political context the are operating in. Trust is an important issue, there needs to !e a two wa approach to trust at the highest levels and autonom to help teams realise the potential of channels.


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()4is" avoidance is one of the most profound o!stacles to digital upta"eL.criticism/negativit from the pu!lic in commenting functions and on social mediaLitAs part and parcel of engagementL))


-T o o o o Volume of feed!ac" and significant frustration with government -T. 4ecognition that some of this is due to cost constraints !ut much is due to8 NpermissionsO @uch of this is driven ! attitudes towards corporate reputation ris" and trust !arriers need to !e addressed. ('ften securit restrictions seem wholl disproportionate and itAs unclear wh the Are imposed) ,ccess to software and technolog is a pro!lem for a num!er of organisations.

16.2.2 1etting o!3ectives M '!3ectives and strateg o 1trateg development and o!3ective setting for digital must ta"e place within the context of overarching o!3ectives and in colla!oration with other teams responsi!le for deliver


:valuation o o o :valuation is seen as a crucial part of digital development $roper evaluation will allow successes to !e shared across government for future planning, as long as the evaluation methodolog is action+focused There is recognition that evaluation should include developing the most appropriate metrics, !enchmar"ing, and !uilding dash!oards that give a view of performance across digital channels.

16.2.3 1"ills and capa!ilities o There was agreement that whilst there will alwa s !e a need for digital specialists within Government, these specialists need competences in other areas such as press, mar"eting and internal communications to ensure that there is a two+wa exchange of "nowledge across these areas

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The em!edding of individuals with specialist s"ills needs to !e !alanced against a need to up s"ill more staff outside of communications such as polic professionals. Through ensuring that there is an accepta!le level of "nowledge across a !road !ase, digital s"ills and "nowledge will !ecome mainstream. (,ll our staff should !e digitall competent, understand the digital environment and feel confident wor"ing in it)


16.2.4 2ontent development and deliver o o o Bidel recognised that content creation within digital channels re%uires specific s"ills and resource, !ut that training can help to !uild these s"ills across a wider !od of people The potential for sharing tools, software and e%uipment, and for sharing and repurposing content across Government is re%uested. 1ome respondents called for a central 2ontent 2hampion to help drive this, !ut opinion was divided a!out whether this individual would !e responsi!le for content development at a strategic level, or would !e in essence a content producer, responsi!le for the generation of content for dissemination. This viewpoint was extended ! some respondents to include a central content development team, or a social media centre to provide assets across government @an respondents focused on the need for content development and deliver to !e driven ! audience insight and understanding.

o o

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16.2.; 1tructure M 2ross Government colla!oration

o o

1everal comments were made a!out the possi!ilit and !enefits of 3oint procurement and colla!oration e.g. cloud !ased shared tools. ((=uge opportunit for 0igital leads to share and colla!orate across depts and teams. Land feed into Amainstream digital ! end 2614A.))

o ()The integration of the -2T and front end deliver is what digital is. $u!lishing content through digital channels is communication + the are different things.)) M G01


, num!er of people fed !ac" on the G'V../. we!site, it was felt that departments should have a stronger voice in G'V../ governance and the time was right to loo" more closel at how the site could meet (the spectrum of user needs) 5including government needs7 There was also de!ate on how the site could !ecome part of the mix of channels for teams to communicate with and engage their audiences, e.g. !ehaviour change campaigns, and how it could !ecome more relational and less transactional to help teams achieve their communications o!3ectives.



Bithin 0epartments


There was agreement that digital should not !e owned centrall , !ut it can !e facilitated and co+ordinated centrall for it to !e successful, common standards, tool"its and competencies are also important to achieve this (0igital isnAt 3ust a!out central teams, or even 3ust a!out communications teams) -t was felt that channels and silos shouldn)t !e mixed up, communicators need to !e good at tal"ing to people, regardless of the channel9 ,nd that the communications profession !enefits from specialists, the can share expertise, advise, champion !est practice and ensure consistenc in the wider digital arena

o o o

16.2.E ,dditional recommendations

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o o o

Be should articulate a ()vision for what AgoodA digital communication loo"s li"e)) and good practice should !e cele!rated and shared. To achieve the manifesto there should !e ((a single department, or individual, with whom government department heads can consult to ensure training and mitigate ris"s.)) , single area on G'V../ for national or high impact emergenc e.g. Pswine fluP or a terrorist attac" would !e helpful.

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,@:2 + ,ssociation for the @easurement and :valuation of 2ommunications 20' + 2hief 0igital 'fficer 2'' + 2hief 'perating 'fficer 214 + 2ivil 1ervice 4eform 2T's + 2hief Technolog 'fficers 0:22 + 0epartment of :nerg and 2limate 2hange 0efra + 0epartment for :nvironment, #ood and 4ural ,ffairs 0f-0 + 0epartment for -nternational 0evelopment 0<s + 0igital <eaders 0o2s + 0irectors of 2ommunications 0o= + 0epartment of =ealth 0B$ + 0epartment for Bor" and $ensions :0G2 + :xecutive 0irector of Government 2ommunications #2' + #oreign and 2ommonwealth 'ffice G2& + Government 2ommunication &etwor" G01 + Government 0igital 1ervice G'V../ 5The ../ government services and information we!site7 =@42 + =er @a3est As 4evenue and 2ustoms =@T + =er @a3est As Treasur -T + -nformation Technolog &G' + &on Governmental 'rganisation $0# + $orta!le 0ocument #ormat 14' + 1enior 4esponsi!le 'fficer
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