UK Government Communication Plan sets benchmark for best practice

UK Government Communication Plan sets benchmark for best practice

The UK Government published its Communication Plan for 2018/2019 last night at a Government Communication Service (GCS) event in London last night.


The document called Building a Country That Works for Everyone: A Britain Fit for the Future is a blueprint for the delivery of 140 integrated communication campaigns.

GCS is the Government’s professional body for public service communicators. It brings together more than 4,000 professionals across 25 ministerial departments, 21 non-ministerial departments and nearly 400 agencies and public bodies.

The service has been led by moderniser Alex Aiken since 2013. In this time he’s driven an agenda of professionalism in communication, underpinned by planning, data, performance and measurement.

Aiken has arguably had the single biggest impact of any individual in the UK to upskill communication and realise its potential as a strategic management function. It’s a view evidenced by the reputation of GCS within Government, and the operating models and campaigns shared in the new communication plan.

Professional communication challenges

A group of 20 cross-government Directors of Communication set eight profession challenges for the service in 2018. These are common to many of the issues that we continue to explore on this blog.

  1. Enhance two-way communications
  2. Build a rapid response social media capability
  3. Raise standards by ending opaque digital marketing
  4. Maximise the role of government communications
  5. Demonstrate the role of communication as a valuable strategic tool
  6. Work harder to master the techniques of behavioural science
  7. Create engaging content
  8. Transform the mass of data we have about audiences into actionable insight

Campaign planning model

The GCS plan includes the planning model used for the planning and delivery of campaign. Called OASIS (Objectives, Audience Insight, Strategy/Idea, Implementation and Scoring/Evaluation), it’s a series of steps to bring order and clarity to planning campaigns.

These steps help make the planning process rigorous and consistent and ensure that all government communications are effective, efficient and evaluated. It should be applied to every

It is applied to every kind of planned communication, from the most effective way to share news via press or digital at no cost, to large scale multi-million pound behaviour change campaigns.

Communication delivery model

In 2015, the Government Communication Service (GCS) published its Modern Communications Operating Model (MCOM) guide. It provides the proposed structures, skills and capabilities a high-performing communications directorate or team should have.


An updated operating model will be published in autumn 2018. The updated guide emphasises the importance of strategic communication.

Strategic communication puts audience understanding at the heart of policy and service design, resulting in better decision-making and improved delivery.

Further information

The plan outlines the communication priorities for each of the key government departments and agencies.

GCS publishes its plans and operating models on its website. It’s an incredibly useful resource for communicators that I’d urge you to check out.

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