GCS Events & Comms Exchanges

To book a place at these GCS events you must be a current member of the Government Communication Service.


11 December


GCS Comms Exchange: The vote on Heathrow

Hear how the Department for Transport successfully delivered a multi-disciplined campaign to build support for a new runway at Heathrow ahead of an historic vote in the House of Commons. This session will cover the build up to vote, including two phases of public consultation, and how the team engaged stakeholders and co-ordinated a targeted and successful comms campaign on one of the most debated government policies of the last 50 years.

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14 December


GCS Comms Exchange: External Affairs

This session will provide an interactive opportunity to learn about the External Affairs profession, the newest pillar of the GCS, and will include a number of case studies from the Department for Transport. Attendees will learn about the importance of stakeholder engagement in order to encourage supportive voices for, and mitigate criticism of, government policies. The session will include practical tips that will help colleagues with their own stakeholder engagement, including advice on stakeholder mapping.

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18 December


GCS Comms Exchange: Business Partnering for Government Communciation

Communication business partners are a critical link between communications teams and the rest of the organisation, helping to put communications at the heart of planning and decision-making.

In this session, Chris Duffy, a communications business partner at the Department for Transport will:

  • explain what business partnering is and its benefits
  • describe the role and typical responsibilities of a communications business partner
  • provide guidance on team structure and recruitment
  • advise how a business partner model can be developed
  • provide case study examples of business partnering in action.

Read the GCS Business Partnering Guide (2.6mb)

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11 January


GCS Comms Exchange: THINK: Driving campaign innovation

Find out how the Department for Transport’s THINK! road safety campaign remains as influential today as it was when in launched in 2000. With increased media fragmentation and declining advertising budgets, making your brand’s content stand out is more difficult than ever. This session will explore the innovative tactics and creative strategy employed by THINK! to help change the attitudes and driving behaviours of young men – a notoriously hard to reach group.

Speaker: Laura Kane, Deputy Head of Marketing

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22 January


GCS Comms Exchange: Go Ultra Low campaign

The Government has an aim to see the end to the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040, meaning we need to prepare the way for a huge shift in the vehicles people drive. With sales of new electric cars currently accounting for just 3% of total car sales, attitudes to electric vehicles must change. To tackle this, in 2014 the behaviour change campaign ‘Go Ultra Low’ was launched.

Go Ultra Low is a unique joint government and industry funded communications campaign which aims to increase consumer awareness and purchase consideration of electric vehicles through paid advertising, PR, partnerships and events. To hear more about the policy challenge, campaign OASIS model, and plans for the future, join DfT on 22nd January.

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23 January


GCS Comms Exchange: BEIS and Audience Profiles

Find out how BEIS Insight and Evaluation team have developed audience profiles on low paid workers, SMEs and large businesses to support development of campaigns and low/no cost activity.

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25 January


GCS Comms Exchange: Story Arcs

Find out how the Home Office is using a simple and accessible new tool, which they’re calling the “story arc”, to ensure their comms teams are working together more closely than ever before, and how this work is helping to shape their thinking about some of the big decisions.

This session will be presented by Ben Biddulph, Deputy Director of Strategic Communications and Campaigns, Home Office.

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25 January


GCS Comms Exchange: Planning Ministerial Events

Visits and events are important communication tools. They enable ministers and senior leaders to meet and learn from stakeholders, to see examples of great work in local communities and in industry, to develop departmental thinking about policy and to provide a platform for communicating Government messages.

The Home Office Ministerial Visits and Events team delivered nearly 200 visits for ministers last year as well as speeches, conferences and other events.

Join us to learn more about the interesting and diverse work of GCS visits teams and develop your skills in how to create newsworthy and informative visits for ministers or senior leaders.

In this two-hour interactive session the team will take you through the planning and insight gathering process, logistics and on the ground delivery. We will share some of our experiences including tips on how to support and work with media on a high-profile visit or event and show how you can make sure events are engaging for stakeholders and staff while generating media and social media content.

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30 January


GCS Comms Exchange: Cross-Government Working towards Expo 2020 Dubai

Expo 2020 Dubai is a global event which runs from October 2020 to April 2021, with 190 nations are taking part and 25 million visits expected. It is the role of the Department for International Trade to lead the UK’s presence at Expo 2020 Dubai, in close partnership with six other Whitehall Departments.

The UK’s participating theme is ‘Innovating for a Shared Future’ and the UK Pavilion – designed by award-winning artist Es Devlin OBE – will form the interactive centrepiece of the UK’s presence at Expo 2020 Dubai. This will be accompanied by an events programme to showcase the UK’s innovation and creativity, foster new trading relationships and deepen cultural and economic ties with established partners. This two-hour interactive session, led by Kelly Dolan from the DIT World Events team, will provide an opportunity for communicators to learn:

  • How to deliver exceptional communications for major international projects
  • How to influence, persuade and engage cross Whitehall colleagues
  • Opportunities for your Department to get involved in promoting the UK on a global stage

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