Refreshed Strategic Communication Guide launched

The Government Communications Service (GCS)’ Strategic Communication: MCOM Function Guide has been updated to incorporate current trends and strengthen best practice across the profession.

The guide was originally developed, and has now been updated, by the GCS Heads of Strategic Communication Network. It seeks to identify the core functions of a strategic communication team as well as the key principles of practice.

Building on the launch of the new GCS Curriculum, the refresh of the Strategic Communication: MCOM Function Guide includes discussion on and examples of the crucial role of the discipline in modern government communication.

At the heart of communication

Strategic Communication is one of the core disciplines of government communication, as outlined in the Modern Communications Operating Model. As well as setting direction and developing plans, strategic communicators agree on which communication interventions to use to meet goals, steer delivery and assess impact to see whether the objectives have been achieved.

Clara Eaglen, Strategic Communication lead for GCS and Deputy Director of Strategic and Corporate Communication at the Department for International Trade, spoke at a recent cross-GCS event to launch the new guide:

“Strategic communication is at the heart of our practice as public service communicators. Our work is vital in helping policymakers deliver government priorities. This is why we work with policy and operations colleagues to jointly diagnose issues at the very start of policy development and service design. This leads to improved problem solving, ensuring the most appropriate combination of government levers are brought to bear on an issue.

“Working at the heart of government, our environment is constantly changing. The newly updated guide reflects this. It covers crucial topics such as understanding audiences and their behaviours, considering the range of communication levers to use, and defining the role of audience communication in delivering complex government policies.”

It’s all in the planning

Strategic communicators provide the plan to successfully shape and communicate a public policy or service. They do this in 5 key ways:

  1. Commissioning research to gain insight.
  2. Identifying realistic goals.
  3. Generating ideas and solving problems.
  4. Bringing together the means necessary for implementation.
  5. Steering delivery and assessing impact.

For an overview of the roles and responsibilities of strategic communicators, as set out in the updated function guide, watch Clara Eaglen’s webinar (GCS members only, 2 CPD points). In it, she brings this topic to life, using examples from real campaigns, and shares her top tips for working in the discipline.

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