The world was so much simpler in 2006 when I first joined local government comms. In those days austerity was an answer to a crossword puzzle that most of us wouldn’t have got right.
Indeed, back then we were mainly judged by the pile of media cuttings sitting on the floor.
How the world has changed. Devolution, public sector reform and sweeping changes in the media landscape which means that young people now are more likely to get their news from You Tube than the BBC. Just as we’re mastering Twitter, along comes Snapchat.
Yes, the world is a different place – and the skills we need to flourish are fast changing too.
That’s why this year’s LGcomms and GCS Public Sector Academy is more important than ever before. This is our once-in-the-year chance as public sector comms professionals to really understand the changing landscape around us, share ideas and develop the skills that we need to survive.
Let’s think about what our new JD looks like. Commercial acumen, business management skills, organisational change, collaboration, digital prowess, influencing and leadership have all been added as ‘must haves’ of the modern communications leader. Evaluation these days is less about media cuttings and more about proving that the money spent on comms has a net return when it comes to improving the lives of the people we serve.
If you have a skills gap or are worried, fear not and seek solace, support and wisdom at this year’s Academy which runs over two days on November 1 and 2 in the fantastic city of Liverpool. We have a fantastic line up of practical workshops and plenary sessions to equip your skills toolbox on just about everything, from understanding what our world will look like in 2020 through to strategic comms planning, managing change, behavioural change, social media and video prowess, partnership working, storytelling in marketing, evaluation, digital best practice, community engagement – and more, much more.
It costs £170 per day to attend for LGcomms members or £255 for both days (£300 and £380 for non members) – there’s an early bird of £150 or £198 for the full academy which is an incredible offer so get in soon. Believe me it will be the best money you have ever spent. Future-proof yourself now by registering here.
Simon Jones is Chairman of LGcommunications and Head of Communications at Haringey Council