Communicating EU benefits at heart of new Government Communication Service plan

The Government Communication Service has set out its priorities for the coming year in a plan that includes communicating economic and national security, as well as the benefits of staying in the EU.

Government comms: Economics, security and the EU part of the new plan
Government comms: Economics, security and the EU part of the new plan
Its 2016/17 plan, published yesterday, focuses on communicating economic security, including campaigns to support apprenticeships, the national living wage, financial help with childcare and home ownership.

Government comms will also centre on national security issues including tackling extremism, supporting the armed forces and promoting the impact of aid to other countries.

The plan includes comms around reform of the education system, helping "troubled families" and tackling childhood obesity, as well as promoting Universal Credit as it is rolled out across the UK.

Controversially, for those who favour leaving the EU, the comms plan also sets out how it will communicate that the UK is "safer, stronger and better off in a reformed Europe than we would be on our own".

It said the Prime Minister’s Office would work across Government to ensure that people have the information they need about the benefits of remaining "to make an informed decision in the referendum vote," while the Foreign Office would work to ensure that the Government’s position regarding the EU is understood abroad.

In his foreword to the plan, Minister for the Cabinet Office Matthew Hancock said the GCS must reflect the wider drive across the public sector to "deliver better services for less".

He added: "We will use commercial partnerships to extend our reach and obtain the best value possible from our communications. We will focus on finding out what really works – experimenting, measuring impact and continuously improving what we do. New technology and digital tools will continue to be absolutely central to our communications work."

In last year's plan, former PR man David Cameron said his Government's comms should be "simple" and "human".

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