Speechwriting for government: predicaments and principles

Arguably, there has never been a more important time for speeches – particularly from those with an authoritative, trusted and educated voice who can help inform the public and media discourse, correct its inherent misconceptions, and promote community confidence in government. As such, there also has never been a more important time for the speechwriter, particularly those in the public sector. While the speechwriting profession is well-established in the United States and the United Kingdom, it is comparatively less developed in Australia. contentgroup’s new resident speechwriter takes us through why.

To nudge or to shove? That is the question

“Be braver. Stand up. Lean in. Speak out.” Hearing these words made me sit up a bit straighter in my seat at a recent iPAA breakfast. While the phrase evoked influencers I admire such as Sheryl Sandberg, it was the charismatic Alex Aiken making an impact on the Canberra crowd that morning. A dynamic and captivating speaker, Alex is the Executive Director for Government Communications at the UK Prime Minister’s and Cabinet Office. He has spent the past five years changing the face of government communications in the Kingdom, influencing his peers on a global scale along the way.

InTransition 114: Simon Westaway, CEO of the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council

Heading up an organisation that represents Australian livestock export businesses has its obvious challenges, says Simon Westaway. As CEO of ALEC, Simon says he’s been focusing on the framing and representation of the organisation, using skills he’s acquired over a long career focused on government relations and media management. Tune in to the podcast for the full discussion.

The undeniable power of the influencer

Using influencers to promote your brand is the modern-day equivalent of word-of-mouth recommendations. As audiences, we tend to trust them more than brands (often the same brands they’re working for) and feel more personally invested in a product or message when someone we like is delivering it. Writing a marketing plan without including an influencer strategy is like flying to Paris and not visiting the Eiffel Tower – it’s just not the done thing. contentgroup’s very own Sarah Ferlitsch, an Instagram influencer in her own right, tells us why.

Employees want ham, not spam

When email is the appropriate form of internal communication, I implore you – please click with care, or a virtual barrage of send-to-all diatribes may simply spam your audience. Organisations all too often fall into the trap of over-communicating important messages via email in an attempt to be seen as acting in a trusted and transparent way. But employees don’t want spam, they want ham.

InTransition #112 – Liz Jakubowski pt. 2 – students, skills and the future workforce

In the second and final installment of our chat with Liz Jakubowski, digital maestro and director of Ribit in Data61 at CSIRO, we discuss the foundations of and history behind Ribit. A free online matchmaking platform that connects digital and STEM students with SMEs looking to grow and compete, Ribit is helping to address skills shortages and students’ employment concerns.

InTransition 111 – Liz Jakubowski – leadership in the digital age

In the first of a two-part series, digital maestro and director of CSIRO’s Data61 team Liz Jakubowski and our CEO David Pembroke discuss how to be an effective and innovative leader in the digital age. From affecting change by influencing the right people at the right ​time to empowering diverse teams so that they believe in themselves and their message, the conversation is a refreshing one.

Forge positive business relationships to achieve your goals

One of our mantras here at contentgroup is ‘go beyond’. As a company, we seek to go beyond in everything we do, particularly when it comes to building positive business relationships. I recently discovered the usefulness of this in my own work after attending Canberra Innovation Network’s First Wednesday Connect, where business people, innovators and entrepreneurs showcase their creative business ideas. I made a new business connection there, and it’s turned out to be of value in my work already.

Your ‘WHY’ is your bullseye

All too often I come across organisations that focus all their efforts on what they want to say and how they will say it. They frequently overlook the fundamental basis for all communication activities – the purpose, the rationale, the WHY. The why is your bullseye.

Top tips for government video communications

contentgroup recently attended the Role of Video in Digital Government seminar in Canberra where presenters from various government departments explored current issues in online engagement and presented case studies of video production in the public sector. Events such as this enable the video industry to connect with their audiences, to help fill those gaps in resourcing and expertise and to enable governments to reach their stakeholders directly. Check out the top tips we scooped from the day.

The importance of design

Instead, it’s viewed as an ‘optional extra’ that can be tacked on at the end of a project to make it look pretty. This is not good communication. Good communication must be designed, and designed well, from the get-go.

4 simple tips to dominate SEO search using keywords

Most organisations know that SEO should be implemented, but often they don’t know how effectively it can be used in conjunction with keywords to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to their websites through organic engine results. As SEO continues to gain momentum, many of our clients are starting to ask us how to choose the right words, and how to make sure they’re getting the right searches to help them grow.

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