The Future of Local Government and Public Sector Communications


In 2017, 90% of the UK households had internet access, an increase from 89% in 2016 and 57% in 2006. The use of the internet for social networking accounted to 66% of total internet activities in 2017 and above 83% for people aged 16-44 (ONS, 2017). Given their prominence, the internet and social media in particular, are imperative and powerful tools for driving political, economic and social engagement and connecting with citizens at all levels of governance.

According to the latest BDO Social Media in the Local Government Survey in 2015, 100% of the respondent councils had a Twitter account, 90% had a Facebook account, 68% had a YouTube account and 38% an account on Instagram. Social media platforms are now the main channel for many members of the public wishing to communicate with public bodies and hold them to account. However, for local authorities in particular, social media is not only an essential means of strengthening democratic engagement, but of driving efficiency in a climate of significant budgetary reductions. Indeed, 71% of the respondents identified financial benefits from the use of social media.

Whilst the increased use of digital and social media platforms have undoubtedly driven greater innovation, efficiency and transparency in public sector communications over recent years, it is vital that they keep apace with modern, user orientated models of operating to address changes in public expectations. The fifth phase of the Government Communication Service’s improvement programme, commencing in November 2017, set a number of priorities to maximise the impact of the public sector communications. These included; improving strategic engagement, reaching digital influencers, reaching international audiences post-Brexit and refreshing the Modern Communications Operating Model for 2018.

With the UK preparing to go through historical changes in the coming year, public sector communications will be faced with the challenge of Britain’s exit from the EU, and the need for clear and timely messages that tackle insecurities. This symposium will therefore offer ICT professionals, social media officers, digital communication stakeholders, and communication teams across the public sector and local government, with a timely and invaluable opportunity to co-develop effective strategies for designing, planning and delivering outward facing communications, committed to efficiency, service quality and public trust.

Delegates will:

  • Explore ways to accelerate the use of digital communication tools across public sector services
  • Consider how to deliver world class, effective, efficient communications to support organisational priorities
  • Understand how you can boost citizen engagement and establish a two way dialogue
  • Discuss how social media can strengthen internal local government communications
  • Analyse methods to manage the organisational risks associated with social media platforms
  • Understand the cost-saving potential of social media and how they can maximise it
  • Share best practice of how to ensure responsive, informative and regularly monitored communications in emergency scenarios
  • Consider how their organisation’s brand can be best supported on social media platforms

Who Should Attend?

  • Communications Officers and Directors
  • Government Digital Service
  • Government Communication Service
  • Digital Officers and Managers
  • Public Sector Customer Service Personnel
  • Public Sector Communication and Marketing Professionals
  • Private Sector Communication and Marketing Professionals
  • Public Sector Consultation Officers
  • Policy Officers
  • ICT Professionals
  • Heads of Technology
  • Social Media Officers
  • Chief Technology Officers
  • Efficiency and Improvement Professionals
  • Programme/Project Officers
  • Heads of Information Governance
  • Heads of eGovernment
  • Change Management and Cloud Computing Officers
  • Business Continuity Officers
  • Chief Information Officers
  • Healthcare Communication and Marketing Professionals
  • Social Care Communication and Marketing Professionals
  • Charity, Voluntary Sector and Social Enterprise Professionals
  • Police Services and Fire Services
  • Local Authorities
  • Central Government Departments and Agencies
  • Training Organisations
  • Third Sector Practitioners
  • Academics and Researchers

To register your place, please visit

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