At the heart of government comms: GCS and our agency media buying partner

To deliver the best public service campaigns, we are launching the tender process for a new media buying agreement, which I believe will lead to better communication through stronger relationships between agencies and the Government Communication Service (GCS) working together.

Campaigns are at the heart of government communication, with the pandemic displaying the important role that campaigns play both locally and nationally. The scale of this impact is demonstrated by the fact that our COVID-19 campaigns have reached 95% of adults on average 17 times per week, with the NHS COVID-19 app being downloaded more than 21 million times.

Paid for communications have been a fundamental pillar of the national response at all levels of government. This has included our unique Team Nation partnership that used over 400 regional and local news titles to deliver vital public health information in an environment trusted by their readers. The last 18 months have shown that the most effective campaigns save, improve and enrich lives, and form part of the national conversation.

Excellent campaigns have insight into audiences, their characteristics, aspirations and beliefs at their heart. In addition, campaigns must have focused outcomes (lives saved, new jobs created or people empowered), a strong narrative and a mastery of all channels to reach target audiences.

The new Media Services Framework will continue to be an agreement that will facilitate longer term, strategic relationships providing best in class services, promoting further transparency within the media supply chain and focussed on achieving the best outcomes for the least amount of outlay.

This is necessary as the media landscape continues to change, as we modernise the GCS and most importantly to deliver cost effective campaigns for the people we serve.

The next four years will mark the recovery and renewal from the pandemic, as we pursue important work to Build Back Better and level-up the country. These will all bring new challenges for the communications profession and our partner agencies.

The pandemic has forced us to adopt new ways of working, and reframed the way we communicate. As we look ahead there are six key areas that government communications will be focusing on:

  1. Building a united profession, encouraging greater collaboration cross-departmental and organisational boundaries. This includes a move away from the volume of campaigns that currently exists and to produce fewer, bigger campaigns which are more impactful and more effective.
  2. Building digital capability to effectively communicate with audiences online, including removing barriers presented by inaccessible communications.
  3. Building direct relationships to ensure we deliver trusted messages to the public and achieve cut through in crowded communications spaces.
  4. Building understanding of how communication produces outcomes, becoming both more efficient and effective.
  5. Building our knowledge, ensuring we are future-proofing our expertise by constantly reinventing and upskilling ourselves to emerging technologies.
  6. Building back better, together, by bringing people together, reaching out to marginalised communities, and removing barriers through accessible campaigns.

If you believe your agency can offer world class solutions to help us save, improve and enrich the lives of all people living in the UK we would be delighted to receive your tender.

    Image credit:
  • Alex Aiken (1)