2. About the review

2.1 Objectives and terms of reference

The purpose of the review is to assess the digital communication capabilities across government and make recommendations for improvement. Very little communication does not have a digital aspect. This review came about because digital communication is a fast developing area and one which has repeatedly presented as an area of concern and development focus in the departmental communication capability reviews (2011-13). Given the potential scale and breadth of the task, the review team needed to ensure that the scope and objectives were manageable. The focus on improvement means that the review is more concerned with finding practical and effective levers for change than with comprehensively auditing capability.

The reviewers looked a wide range of communication, from: internal communication; to news, media relations and announcements; to corporate communications; communication focussing on service provision; information provision; and campaign communication aiming for attitudinal shift and behaviour change.

2.2 Evidence base

  1. Capability reviews (15 completed)
  2. Project initiation interviews with Digital Leaders by Humphrey Pring (July 2013)
  3. Digital communications survey (July 2013), completed by each department
  4. Evidence from cross government communications teams at Cabinet Office and No.10.
  5. Review workshops (two issues workshops, one evaluation workshop and a recommendations-shaping workshop)
  6. Review interviews (almost 30 completed)
  7. Reviewers’ own experience and knowledge

2.3 Reviewers

Richard Bagnall – one of the founders and the Managing Director of Metrica and subsequently Gorkana Group’s Managing Director of Global Insights and Analysis post integration of the businesses. He chairs The International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communications’ (AMEC) Social Media Measurement Group, is a member of the CIPR Social Media Panel, of the Social Media Conclave working to establish standards in social media measurement, and is a co-author of Wiley Business Publishing’s ‘Share This’ & ‘Share This Too’, having written the chapters in both books on measuring communications in a digital world. Richard left Gorkana in 2013 and now runs Comms Clarity Consulting where he advises organisations of all sizes the best ways to plan and measure their mainstream media and digital communication.

Chris Birkett – has more 20 years of leadership experience in national television, radio and digital news journalism. He is currently Consultant Editor at the Telegraph Media Group, where he is working on the digital transformation of the editorial operation. Previously Chris was at Sky, where as Deputy Head and Executive Editor of Sky News from 2006 until 2013 he was responsible for all the organisation’s journalism on television and radio. From 2008-2011, Chris also ran the multi-platform digital production department at Sky News which launched its award-winning iPad and Phone apps. In his earlier BBC career, Chris had senior roles in the launch of BBC 5 Live and BBC News 24, where he was the first Managing Editor. In 2010 Chris was the recipient of the Judges Award from the Royal Television Society for his role in negotiating the deal which brought about the historic TV Leaders’ Debates during the 2010 General Election Campaign.

Max St John – Managing Director at social business consultancy NixonMcInnes, where his clients have included the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, BIS and WWF-UK, on projects that range from digital transformation programmes to leadership coaching.

2.4 Review SRO

Anthony Simon, Head of Digital at Cabinet Office & No.10.