With new methods of communications bypassing government press offices and major departmental cuts still to come, government communicators are rightly under pressure to show their worth. This week’s announcement is about improving governance and building a profession. It says: ‘We are now building on our strengths by creating a Government Communication Service (GCS). The GCS will operate as a single profession. With shared standards for recruitment and talent management, for example, closer working relationships between departments and their agencies, and better integration of digital into everything we do.’ To some current and former government communicators this might seem a little familiar: • In 1997 – a review was undertaken by a team chaired by Robin Mountfield, the Permanent Secretary of the Office of Public Service, and which included Alastair Campbell and Mike Granatt, the then Head of the GICS. Much was said of communicators feeling undervalued in their departments and there was a call for more support to gain wider experience and promotions. • In 2003, the Phillis Review of Government communications said that communications needed to have: ‘strong central communications structure and strong, integrated departmental communications structures’. The government responded in 2004, by setting up the Government Communications Network […]

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