Cabinet Office comms shake-up shifts focus to delivering targeted campaigns

The Cabinet Office has bolstered its comms team as part of a restructure aimed at switching from "strategising" to "delivering and evaluating work".

Cabinet Office: Changes followed a government review
Cabinet Office: Changes followed a government review

Following a government review last year that found some of its key messages were not "landing effectively", the department has reshaped its set-up around Efficiency, Reform and Civil Society and created formal posts around the three categories.

Jo Power has joined from the British Heart Foundation as chief campaign officer leading on Efficiency, which deals with issues such as cost-cutting. 

Heading up the Civil Society portfolio in the same role is Ed Pikett, who was previously on the No 10 campaigns team and will focus on social action, community and youth policies.

Alice Holmes and Nicola Armao, who were already part of the department's comms team, are sharing the role of leading on the Reform portfolio, communicating reforms to the civil service.

"We’ve always covered these three areas but this is about thinking about them as targeted campaigns so that everything we’re doing is having an impact," said a Cabinet Office spokeswoman. "This is less about strategising and more about delivering and evaluating work."

Last year’s assessment of the Cabinet Office was part of a broader rolling review of messaging across all departments, which also led to more widescale restructure of government comms. 

It praised certain aspects of the comms team’s work, such as the GREAT campaign to promote Britain abroad, but also pointed to a "insufficient use of insight and evaluation".

Cabinet Office head of comms Victoria MacCallum added: "The Cabinet Office communicates key government priorities around delivering more for less, engaging communities and assuring hard-working taxpayers that their money is being spent wisely by an increasingly efficient Civil Service.

"To make sure our communications activity is getting real value for money and engaging our key audiences, we have refocused our activity to a more hands on, delivery-focused model, and brought in some fantastic talent to help us achieve this. We want Cabinet Office communications to be the best in Whitehall and set the pace for the more professional, more effective government communications we are all working towards."

The new campaign arm sits alongside a six-strong press office.

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