How the UK Government is leaving its Australian counterpart for dead!

How the UK Government is leaving its Australian counterpart for dead!

I enjoyed a fascinating conversation this week with the Alex Aitken, head of communication for the UK Government.

Alex is the very first guest for our podcast, “The Change” which will launch in 2015.

The podcast will explore the practice of content marketing in government.

I will wait until then to give you the full picture of the reform program that is underway in the United Kingdom needless to say that just as at the London Olympics, our friends in the UK are making our antipodean efforts look decidedly second rate. To be frank, the gulf in the strategic application of content marketing in Government in the UK when compared with Australia, is embarrassingly wide.

If I could draw a couple of sporting analogies, it’s a 4-0 ashes series lead going into the final test or a 36-7 thrashing of a shambolic Wallabies by the men in white in a Rugby World Cup final.

The gap is really that big. We have a lot of work to do. We are a long way behind.

I will spare you the full catastrophe until the podcast launch but would like to highlight one particular simple tactic the Brits have used to improve the quality of their strategic thinking and planning.

In 2012, the UK Goverrnment conducted a capability audit of their communication function.

Among other things they found that while they were tactically strong, they were strategically weak.

If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that I have drunk the “Pulizzi Kool Aid” and am fully signed up to the notion that it is not negotiable to have a written, strategic content marketing plan. Without a road map you have no way of defining your direction nor measuring your progress.

To deal with their identified lack of strategic planning nous, the UK Government introduced the mnemonic of OASIS to codify their strategic planning.

O – Objective
A – Audience
S – Strategy
I – Implementation
S – Scoring

Neat, simple and to the point.

Whenever a content marketer in the UK government gets anywhere near a story, they need to follow this strategic planning process and answer the questions.

The result is a comprehensive plan and a framework to measure your progress.

So perhaps this week if someone asks you to write a media release, organise an event or perhaps even make a video, don’t do a thing until you go through the process.

Satisfy yourself that what you are being asked to do is a relevant tactic in order to achieve your objective.
Alex Aitken was generous enough to extend an offer to all Government content marketers wherever you may be in the world to join the UK’s Government communication service. It’s open to everyone at www.gcn.civilservice.gov.uk. There is a treasure trove of valuable insights available for anyone with the interest.

You’ve got to hand it to them, (and being the competitive Australian that I am, it gives me absolutely no pleasure in saying it but), our friends in the UK are at the top of their game and improving each week.

Well played.

We have much to learn and even more to do.


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