Government review finds Cabinet Office comms must improve long term planning

The Cabinet Office is failing to get key messages across to the public due to a lack of long-term planning, a government report has found.

Cabinet Office: Comms efforts questioned
Cabinet Office: Comms efforts questioned

The Cabinet Office and Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) are the latest departments to have their comms assessed under the rolling capability reviews.

The review praised certain aspects of Cabinet Office work, such as the GREAT campaign, but said ‘key messages’ were not ‘landing effectively’.

It pointed to a lack of ‘systematically planned’ comms beyond day-to-day media relations as one of the key reasons behind this, as well as 'insufficient use of insight and evaluation'.

The review was launched last year online and will eventually cover all departments.

The report revealed that the DCLG comms directorate’s external spend had dropped from £21m to £2.86m from 2010 to 2012/13, with the team reduced from 79 to 42 staff.

It said the team was ‘working and producing results in challenging circumstances’ but added that some staff felt they were 'on the edge of operational effectiveness'.

The review also stated that there had been a ‘struggle’ to recruit appropriate staff, leading to a number of vacancies.

A cabinet Office spokesman said it was ‘acting on the comprehensive findings’ of the review.

The DCLG called the review ‘positive and helpful’, adding that it was increasing collaboration with other departments. 

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