The way in which government communications campaigns are managed and delivered is set to be transformed, thanks to a new research partnership with the ANU College of Business and Economics and Canberra-based content communication agency contentgroup.
Dr Ying-Yi Chih is a senior lecturer in Project Management, based within the ANU Research School of Management. She teaches Tools and Techniques for Business Project Management and Project Risk and Issues Management into the School’s evidence-based postgraduate programs in management.
For this research project, she and four ANU research associates have worked with contentgroup, a Canberra-based public sector content communication agency, to identify the key challenges faced by government communications professionals, and the barriers to successful communication management.
The approach combines best practice in strategic communication planning, content creation, project management, risk management, measurement and evaluation.
“Working together with contentgroup, we interviewed leading communication practitioners at various levels of government, and found that they all agreed on the importance of introducing a rigorous, evidence-based and consistent approach into government communication practices,” Dr Chih says.
“Technology is the big game changer for government communication. Governments now have the capability to go direct to citizens and stakeholders to explain their policies, programs and regulations. People are connected. They are on the grid. Both the challenge and opportunity for government is to tell a story in such a way that it captures a share of a person’s most valuable asset, which is their time and attention. The risk for government is that if they don’t tell their story, someone else will tell it for them.”
Following stakeholder consultations and rigorous theoretical research, the team has applied project management principles to develop a content communication framework. This framework will help government agencies achieve better results in their communications efforts.
The key deliverable of the research project is a Communications Toolkit for government that applies four phases of project management principles into government communication management: initiation, planning, implementation and official evaluation.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of contentgroup, David Pembroke highlighted:
“Without a plan linked specifically to achieving program and or policy objectives, you can waste a lot of time and effort on the latest, greatest idea. The whole idea of the framework is to give people an approach that is thorough, repeatable and evidence-based. We applied the logic of project management to communication practices, so whenever there is a new communication need, it can be handled in phases and activities just like a project.”
The first stage of this project is now complete, and contentgroup and Dr Chih’s team will now begin validating the framework to government agencies.
Do you think that business and government would benefit from applying a project management framework to their communications campaigns?
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