You can check it out online here, although there are still some areas where not all the materials and information has been published online yet.
The idea is to help communicators in local government by analysing as much available data as possible to help determine what’s behind the reputation of local councils and what communicators can do to improve that reputation.
I like it (and its previous incarnation) as it helps give an empirical and evidenced argument why local government communications needs to focus on certain areas (and not on others). Too much communicating in local government isn’t focussed on clear, business-led outcomes – and a toolkit like this helps address that.
There is a risk however that communicators see this as a quick-fix – do what it says and all will be good. As the website explains though, it’s not about being prescriptive and more about giving a base of evidence to help communicators plan local strategies using both local and national evidence.
One tool that’s not yet fully live on the website is a calculator that aims to determine what local satisfaction with a council should be, based on six variables that have been shown to determine this. The tool looks like it will then compare this theoretical satisfaction score with a particular council’s actual score (from the Place Survey in 2008) – showing whether a council is under or over-performing on satisfaction given the nature of their local area. I’m looking forward to investigating this further once it goes live.