10 questions every Government comms leader should be asking themselves

A modern communications team, capability, leadership and, of course, digital. All important strands, among others, in the latest improvement program for the Government Communication Service (GCS).

If GCS is to continue learning and improving, those leaders who are not already hands-on with digital need to quickly adapt, and those who are already of the internet need to make sure valuable (sometimes tough) lessons are being learned.

We often find ourselves asking senior teams to take a long, hard look at their own understanding of digital. These are the ten questions we are asking communications leaders in departments and agencies, to ask of themselves:

1. Do I use digital regularly as part of my work, beyond reading Twitter?

2. Have I personally asked Ministers/CEOs/organisation heads if they would like to see online coverage included in media reports?

3. Do I receive clear evaluation of digital communications activity, showing what has and has not worked, and how this has contributed to communications objectives?

4. Do I understand enough about how our audiences access and share information online?

5. How will I help the organisation get beyond broadcast every day, and be part of the conversation online?

6. Are all the people who I manage clear on the digital competencies identified within GCS?

7. Who are those people in my team who naturally use digital as part of their work?

8. Am I regularly signposting the social media guidance for civil servants to my team?

9. How often do I encourage my team to experiment with digital, and share their experiences and evaluation with GCS?

10. Does my team blog publicly about how they have applied digital in their campaigns, successfully or otherwise?

If it takes more than a few seconds to answer any of these, then there is plenty of mileage left to properly embed digital – and it falls to everyone, including the leaders.

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