Putting People First
It feels wholly appropriate to be writing this blog about the Scottish Government’s new communications plan while sitting in the lobby of Google’s HQ in London. If there’s a company that knows a thing or two about how to meet the needs of users then surely it’s Google.
And that’s what we’re all about in SG Comms: putting people first. Which is precisely why we chose that title for this year’s plan. We put the audience at the heart of what we do so that our communications reach the right people, at the right time, in the right way.
This is our second annual plan. It’s a bit of a look back at the year past (which was quite a year: it’s not often your work includes a referendum, the Commonwealth Games and the arrival of a new First Minister!) but more importantly a look ahead.
A year is a long time in communications (the session that myself and other government marketing chiefs have just had with Google proves that we’re racing to keep up with rapid shifts in digital trends) so we can’t afford to rest on our laurels. We need to be constantly improving how we engage with audiences, finding new and creative ways to grab their attention.
We also need to ensure all our work meets the First Minister’s priorities for government – tackling inequalities, boosting economic growth, strengthening public services – and meets her stated aim to lead the most open and accessible government Scotland has ever had. Stronger public engagement means not only changing the way we work in Communications but helping the rest of the Scottish Government do the same too.
The First Minister’s website, which attracted over 160,000 page views in its first six months, and the Fairer Scotland conversation website, which kicked off over the summer, are just two of the ways we’ve adapted our approach recently.
In the months ahead our new Insight Team will be helping us make sure our communications are even better focused on meeting the needs of audiences, and our Digital Comms Programme will be putting in place new digital platforms and tools to enable us to better connect and collaborate both internally and externally.
We’ve also got some new campaigns coming up that will help change and save more lives and we’ll be joining up with other parts of the public sector to make our sure our communications are as effective as they can be and that they deliver maximum value for money.
I don’t think there’s ever been a more exciting time to work in government comms and I‘m confident that, by working with colleagues and partners inside and outside the Scottish Government over the next 12 months, we can deliver more first-class work that continues to focus on one thing above all else: putting people first.