#105 Martyn Wallace – online citizen engagement for local government

Martyn Wallace is the Chief Digital Officer of the Scottish Local Government Digital Office. His task is to change the way local councils communicate with people in Scotland through the introduction of online citizen engagement. In this episode of InTransition, Martyn speaks with David Pembroke about the challenges of coordinating change across multiple local government bodies.

They discuss:

  • convincing local councils to adopt digital technology
  • changing the pilot culture to the “version 1” culture
  • identifying skills needs
  • what content will be required

Listen to the podcast:

Get it on iTunes

Selected links:

Download the transcript

Martyn Wallace on LinkedIn

Martyn Wallace on online citizen engagement:

“I think if you look at the UK, or Scotland in particular, obviously where I work we have ageing population, we have reductions in budgets for local authorities over the next two to three years, and then we’ve got the rise of Brexit happening at some point as well, which will put more pressures on the councils, and basically we’ve got to do more with less and deliver outcomes and services for the citizen, but with reduced costs. So digital, or my job of being Chief Digital Officer, is to look at how technology can support those outcomes.

I think the biggest challenge is culture. Traditionally we’ve got masses of council services, we do things in certain ways and there’s a massive, massive change in approach and thinking to then go down the digital route. Some see it as fanciful, some see it as eye candy, but there is actually a sort of true value can be derived from digital technology. The thing is it doesn’t even have to be complex, even just something like communicating through text messages, because text messages are obviously are a very, very simple technology. They can have maximum effect.”


David Pembroke

About David Pembroke

David Pembroke is the CEO and founder of contentgroup, a government and public sector content communications agency based in Canberra, Australia.

He has a commerce degree (marketing major) from one of Australia’s leading business schools (University of New South Wales) and worked in product management for the American multinational 3M. He changed careers to work in media where he spent a decade as a radio current affairs and sports reporter for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

He was the communications director of the Australian Rugby Team when they won the Rugby World Cup in 1999 and is a member of the Australian Olympic media team.

contentgroup was founded in 1997 and offers consulting, content production, training and research services. David hosts InTransition, a weekly podcast which examines the practice of content communication in government and the public sector.

More posts by David Pembroke

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