Case study: working across the Union

Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland (OSSS), Office of the Secretary of State for Wales (OSSW), Northern Ireland Office (NIO) and Cabinet Office

Communications on the benefits of the Union are a key element of Government Communication Service (GCS)’ work across all departments and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.

For this piece of work, the OSSS team responded to a gap in our communications on the common effort to develop and deliver the COVID-19 vaccine across the UK. Our insight showed we needed to make an upbeat, positive piece of content that gave people assurance and hope as the UK became the first country worldwide to secure a vaccine. 

There was limited time to deliver the creative so the OSSS team acted as an in-house agency and used its digital, video editing and storytelling skills to script and shoot a narrative film for use on social media. The whole “film” was made by the team in 2 days and used stock footage due to COVID-related restrictions on filming outside. 

We worked with colleagues in OSSW and NIO, as well as Cabinet Office, to ensure the tone was right and then pulled together the edit, with voiceovers courtesy of GCS staff and a Welsh language version. Coupled with a strong call to action which drove people toward the NHS resources, we promoted the content on all of the three Territorial Offices and CO channels in December.

The content reached 1.5 million people in Scotland alone and many more across the UK. It was a really good example of how far GCS skills in these areas have developed, an agile response to a pressing issue, and cooperation across departments to get a result – and a nice, positive film to show the UK achieving important things for its citizens, wherever they live. 

Social media asset: UK Government Scotland tweet

Clark Dunn, OSSS.