Vuelio recently attended the UK Public Sector Communications Conference, an event to recognise excellent communication strategies and campaigns. The conference highlighted high profile and recent examples of successful comms plans, with the following top tips for public communications:
- Prevention is better than cure. Director of Marketing and Communications Martin Fewell spoke of the current London Metropolitan Police campaign against Islamic State, and the challenges of effective public communication with the right targeting and the right messaging. The Met comms team decided to reach mothers of young men at risk of joining the extremist group by deploying an all-female team for a press conference and placing advertisements in women’s lifestyle magazines. Through accurate targeting, considered stakeholder engagement and credible content, the Met are preventing major incidents and therefore the possibility of managing a communications crisis.
- Collaborative working is the most effective. In launching their five year and winter plans, NHS England are focusing on helping an ageing population that are living longer but not healthier, and improving their communications with the public. In working with other public sector organisations such as the fire service the NHS are ensuring both the health and safety of elderly individuals at risk. The imminent redesign of the NHS aims to break down barriers in public comms, and hospitals are directly involving healthcare staff in decisions to improve their ways of working as best practice in grass roots comms. Collaborative working not only increases efficiency by saving time and resources, but also opens up dialogue and improves communications across departments, organisations and industries overall.
- Accurate measurement improves engagement. IPSOS Mori identified its difficulty in monitoring a wide range of social media as a contributory factor in its 2015 election poll reporting inaccuracies. The faster pace of digital makes it harder to track than paper-based opinion polls, and individual users with opinions viewed as more conservative or less conscientious are less likely to make their voting choices visible on social channels, skewing the reporting with inaccurate representation of public opinion. Creative agencies Battenhall and 23Red also outlined the difficulties of the rise in ‘anti-social media’ such as private messaging in recording correct statistics. Software such as social media monitoring systems cover all digital media including blogs, news and PR to ensure the accurate measurement of engagement and improve communication across all channels.
Did you attend the conference? Do you agree with our points – or are there additional tactics to be considered in improving your communications strategy?
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