If you work in comms you probably spend a big fat chunk of each day communicating about it. Whether you love it or loathe it, change is a central part of a professional communicator’s life. Thankfully many of us thrive on it, shape it, embrace it.
Whether it’s explaining an alteration in policy or service provision by your organisation, seeking new ways of doing things within your work area, or trying to influence the way service users behave or think, change is absolutely at the heart of the work of a public sector communicator.
The pace and scale of change we’re experiencing seems never ending. It can be exhausting. And yes it’s scary as hell sometimes. So why do we love it so much?
Change needs innovation to succeed. As communicators, we are stimulated by new things and different approaches. We’re creative people, after all. We may not love the context of public sector change – ever-shrinking budgets and rising demands – but we know that this context presents as much of an opportunity as it does a challenge.
Take structural change in the NHS and local government – a seemingly universal response to budget reductions. Councils merging, health systems streamlining. It means we need to think differently and DO differently – be prepared to review how our organisations operate, what they do and how we communicate. It means more technology, more staff engagement, more community and stakeholder consultation. It means a big dose of culture change and bundle load of expectation management.
And all of that is part of a communicator’s job. We’re not the only ones with that remit, of course, but we have a massive role to play in successfully seeing change through for our organisations. We need to be at the heart of change, working with our organisations’ leaders to define and explain it.
At Comms Unplugged, now just a few short weeks away, we are lucky enough to be joined by Matt Prosser. Matt is a leader of change. He is CEO of Dorset Councils Partnership – a single officer structure serving three local authorities. He’s lead Chief Exec on the Future Dorset proposal to disband the county’s nine councils and replace them with two new ones; and he is SOLACE spokesperson on digital leadership.
Whether you’re daunted by the magnitude of change, or default to “I’ll have some of that!”, this workshop is unmissable.
Blog by Georgia Turner, Head of Corporate Communication, Bournemouth Borough Council
— Sunday 20th August —