A blueprint for government communication

The Modern Communications Operating Model (MCOM 2.0) is essential reading for everyone working in public service communications.

When MCOM 2.0 launched in November, Alex Aiken challenged everyone in public service communications to use the model, together with the Functional Standard GovS011: Communication, “as tools to audit and assure organisations’ practice, inform professional development, and act as a framework for reporting, sharing and celebrating our best practice.”

The refreshed model is an essential tool for all of us to answer that challenge and improve as public service communicators. From GCS interns and apprentices to Heads of News and Directors of Communication, MCOM 2.0 is a vital resource for all of us in raising our standards and delivering world-leading public service communications. 

MCOM 2.0: a blueprint for government communication

At its heart, MCOM 2.0 provides a blueprint for efficient and effective public service communication.

It’s built around five communication disciplines: marketing, internal communication, media and external affairs, with strategic communication at the core. It sets out how each of them works together to create brilliant civil service communications. In MCOM 2.0, strategic communication, campaign and digital skills are recognised as essentials for all public service communication professionals, whatever we may consider to be our primary discipline.

The five core disciplines are underpinned by a common set of professional practices that should be consistently applied by everyone working in communications. These include ‘OASIS’ (Objective, Audience insight, Strategy, Implementation, Scoring/evaluation) communications planning, EAST (Easy, Attractive, Social, Timely) and COM B (Capability, Opportunity, Motivation, Behaviour) behaviour change models and the evaluation framework. There’s also the Civil Service leadership values and our commitment to diversity and inclusion. MCOM2.0 brings together all our leading practice with case studies, quick read guides and additional resources that can help readers working in public service communications.

MCOM2.0 complements the rest of the GCS offer to our members, such as the newly published GCS Career Framework, a guide to help everyone interested or already working in public service communication to see how they can progress and develop their career. The Academy curriculum and peer-to-peer mentoring schemes offer fantastic learning and development opportunities. And year-long development programmes like Inspire and Impact help high-potential communicators to find their own path through the Civil Service. 

MCOM 2.0 leading the way

In April of this year, we celebrated the fifth anniversary of the formal launch of GCS, and a lot has changed since then.

We all know the communications landscape is dynamic and constantly changing. This, together with the rapid pace of societal and technological change (see GCS 5 Trends and Year of Marketing reports), mean we must embrace new techniques and ways of working.

Despite all that’s changed since GCS was launched, our commitment to delivering world-leading communications remains constant. All of us in public service communications should use the updated model to answer the challenge set at the beginning of this article: to audit our organisations’ practice, inform our professional development, to share and celebrate best practice so we can all deliver brilliant communications campaigns.

The challenge for all of us in GCS is not merely to keep up with the pace of change, but to actively lead the way. MCOM 2.0 can help us all meet that challenge.