James Dunne: Only teamwork will work

The coming months will be an exciting period to be a local public services communicator.

James Dunne: teamwork
James Dunne: teamwork

We will constantly be asking ourselves are the campaigns we orchestrate or messages we deliver relevant to our services users worried by how much is spent in the public sector. We can rightly expect them to be harsh critics.

Yet let us embrace this challenge together. Partnership working is no longer something we strive to achieve but must achieve.

No matter what area of local public services you work in, you know a colleague or an organisation who in the past you could have worked closer with. Now is that time to help ourselves and do so.

Working together allows us to pool our research so all work is evidence based and we need that barometer to critically evaluate our impact and ensure we deliver maximum value for money.

In Norfolk four years ago, it was decided that the delivery of separate road safety messages from seven different organisations was both confusing, ineffective and a waste of money and resources.

Now all road safety communications is delivered by a partnership group, Think Norfolk, that has maximised its effectiveness and the results reflect that.

In the coming months in Norfolk, the county council will be involved in campaigns aimed at teenage pregnancy, road safety, climate change and public safety reassurance.

All will be delivered in partnership with our colleagues in district councils and other local services groups. Coming together as the Norfolk Public Sector Communications group years ago has allowed this to happen.

And think differently. Our recent work with Norwich City Football Club creating a Play 90 initiative aimed at getting kids doing more exercise was the perfect match as the football club gave us a visible link with the community

In September we will be looking to expand this even more with colleagues in district councils and the health sector so that we are all working together, not on separate similar projects, to achieve common goals and targets.

This ethos of joint delivery and shared knowledge will allow us to deliver the right messages, to the right audience with increased awareness while delivering value for money targeted campaigns.

We must take inspiration from everywhere.  The motto from one of my son’s favourite TV shows ‘The Wonder Pets’ stuck in my head. 

What’s going to work?

TEAMWORK!

James Dunne is corporate marketing officer at Norfolk County Council and a committee member of the CIPR Local Public Services Group

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