campaigns that made a difference, and one that should have

I was listening to Public Enemy’s ‘Harder than you think’ recently, and it took me straight back to the summer of 2012.

by Julie Waddicor

‘Harder than you think’ was the iconic song used by Channel 4 for its ‘Meet the Superhumans’ campaign for the Paralympics. Now, that was a truly outstanding bit of marketing. Yes, they had huge budgets and yes, they had blanket TV coverage, the like of which we in local government can only dream of. But fundamentally, some bright spark had the creative vision to identify the people taking part in the Paralympics as super-human, rather than defined by their disability, and to use a song with the line ‘Thank you for letting us be ourselves’.

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future leaders on tour

Future Leaders, now in its second year, is giving talented public sector comms people the chance to expand their leadership skills. In the days of zero training budgets this is a timely initiative by LGcomms.

by GUEST EDITOR Emma Rodgers

When was the last time you got time away from the office to think about how you spend your time at work, how effective your leadership style is and what to do to build your own personal credibility?

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who should we really be talking to?

It's never been more important to base our communications activities on sound intelligence about who our residents and customers are. And checking that that evidence is up to date is also vital.

by Julie Waddicor

Who sets your comms priorities? Your councillors, your boss, your residents? I imagine that, in most local government organisations, it is a bit of all three. That’s fair enough (to an extent), but a lack of focus on residents and their issues, in the right proportions, could mean a lot of our efforts go to waste.

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the people using twitter are changing

Think you know everything there is to know about Twitter? It might just be time to think again.

by Guest Editor                                  Emma Rodgers

I’ve always used Twitter primarily for work. It helps me to get ideas, find out news, meet new people and speak with like minded people often doing similar jobs across the UK and beyond. But a crossover as to who’s using it seems to be taking place. Sorry to all those who already knew this but it seems to me that Twitter has become the new Facebook for teenagers. And I find that fascinating.

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one challenge for changing comms

So, what happens when services are done by other people? Do you stop communicating? Actually, no. You keep at it. But the role of the corporate comms team will change.

by Emma Rodgers

Across the country, local government is all under the same strain – to save money and improve services. Some of the action taken has seen traditional salami slicing and others have taken a more radical approach.

And as a result more councils are deciding to commission services, moving away from traditional provision for obvious reasons.

In Staffordshire, we’ve put in place a new way of working - one which is focussed on commissioning the right service in the right place at the right time.

So what are the implications for communications?

Everyone knows higher resident satisfaction directly links to feeling informed. Knowing what services are on offer, what the council is doing for me and making sure you’re giving me value for money are the reasons quoted when residents say what helps them to feel informed.

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