We’ve been reading Cabinet Office’s ‘Review of government direct communication and the role of COI’ with great interest.
It’s major. Indeed, it’s a fascinating, fresh look at government communications that draws some radical conclusions, not least that the COI will soon cease to exist.
Here are three points that particularly caught my eye:
(1) “My conclusion is that government should make greater use of digital channels in direct communication and that digital considerations should be built into all communication activity from the start.”
This one’s fairly predictable, I suppose. Digital communications has matured now. It’s no longer an optional plug-in – a view shared by many industry big-wigs like Stuart Bruce at Wolfstar.
(2) “[On payment by results] the industry also indicated that there had to be upside opportunities if results were beyond expectation, as well as downsides if they were not.”
Music to our ears! When we as an agency hit a home run we want it reflected in our pay packet. Obviously, if we muck it up we can also expect to take a serious hit in the financial ghoulies as well. Putting concerns about measurement aside, payment by results – with ‘upside opportunities’ – is wonderfully meritocratic stuff.
(3) “For any proposed activity outside the [small number of cross-government strategic] themes, the default position should be to use low-cost channels such as digital and PR.”
Well-well-well… sing hallelujah! Let’s repeat that just for the record:
“…the default position should be to use low-cost channels such as digital and PR.”
This is music to our ears. We passionately believe in digital and PR in government communications. With budgets tighter than ever and the explosive growth of social media, digital and PR combined can deliver powerful communications that engage citizens and turn them into advocates.
I never thought I’d say it… but man, it feels good to be the default.