Well my summer break from the blog is over. It’s time to focus on the challenges for the next few months – a busy time ahead with lots happening in public sector communications to keep me busy.
We’re on the run-in to a general election, hotly tipped for early May 2010, which means more political activity around the business of local government. While communicators can’t and don’t engage in any politically-driven communications activities, the looming election does mean a changed context for decision-making and a whole set of different circumstances for communicators to operate in.
Plus when the election gets closer there’s also the purdah period to think about too.
Before then, local government communicators will also be handling the announcement of the first round of comprehensive area assessment (CAA) in early December.
While the Audit Commission presents the results of this unified assessment of all local public services in a resident-friendly website (oneplace, demo site here), local government communicators will be trying to explain that green and red flags aren’t opposite to each other in meaning, and the inevitable creation of league tables of the number of green and red flags isn’t really how the Audit Commission meant things to be.
Restructuring of communications functions in many councils continue too, whether driven by a need for more strategic and centralised communications, need to save money on non-frontline services, the fallout from local government reorganisation earlier this year, or indeed all three.
While the inevitable pain that restructures brings is bad, if such changes help raise the level of professionalism that local government communications demonstrates and help position communications folk as more than solely channel managers in the running of local government, then hopefully that will be a good outcome for those that survive the restructuring pain.
On the blog front, I’ve got some really interesting content lined up for the Autumn, including posts on creating the dream communications team in public sector communications, lots more on social media including policies, strategies and case studies, a few interviews and probably lots of other things that cross my path in the next few months.