Departments are under pressure to drive scheme

Experts warn the message must cut across Government departments in order to succeed.

Challenge: Whitehall
Challenge: Whitehall

Communicators have warned that Downing Street's Big Society message could get lost owing to 'a lack of buy-in' from Government departments.

The message is so broad-ranging that it will require the comms co-operation of numerous departments, including the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department of Education.

A former Downing Street comms expert questioned: 'Have they all been sat down and told that everything they do has to be made to fit within the Big Society vision, from Education to DCLG?

'What you'll find is that the departments will look for a signal that this is significant. Is it featured on the comms grids in the weeks ahead? Is there a programme of activity planned already? Or is this is just a couple of speeches and then it's away?' He added: 'It doesn't feel like there's a lot of impetus behind it.'

A former Whitehall comms director added: 'One of the biggest challenges is coming up with messages that cut across departments. Departments always end up getting the best cut-through on their own agendas.'

But he said that as this was a Downing Street campaign, there would be a 'huge level of pressure on the departments to push the Big Society'.

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