A challenge which often comes down from Ministers to communications professionals in the public sector is how to get a policy which has already been announced some more public attention.
Generally you could pull it off a couple of times.
Now, in addition to my criticisms of the five previous Big Society launches, I’d add a sixth piece of advice:
1 – Ditch the jargon
2 – Simplify the message
3 – Unify your followers
4 – Be clear on your call to action
5 – Identify barriers to take up – and break them down using communications
6 – Join up your communications
There are worrying signs that as the various parts of the Big Society mix are developing, they are doing lots of un-joined up communications.
I take on board David Wilcox‘s suggestions that Big Society is a more a policy framework than a brand so fragmentation should be welcomed, but the public don’t do policy frameworks, they do tangible services, products and ideas.
I also know my advice to social enterprises is to go their own way. And I stand by that.
But this makes the challenge facing those working on the Big Society relaunch even more profound – and even more vital to attempt to join up communications. As well as mapping what partners are planning – and working with them to maximise these opportunities – Cabinet Office should look to be more prescriptive in messaging and encourage joined up communications among directly government-backed initiatives.
And as an immediate first step, plans for a National Citizenship Service film to be produced should be halted until a clear strategy for distribution as part of a wider Big Society communications strategy has been agreed.