Public Sector Communications

An experienced pair of hands for your public sector communications

Angela from Halo has been navigating her way through public sector communications for 20+ years. She offers an experienced pair of hands to support your project team with its communications needs.

She understands that communications planning and implementation for the public sector is different. That’s because:

  • There’s an extra layer of accountability to rate payers and taxpayers.
  • There’s interest from Ministers, Mayors and Councillors – it’s political.
  • You need to be cognisant of legislation like the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA) and the Official Information Act (OIA).
  • Things take time – there are more approval levels than working in the private sector.

Issues management

In an environment where perception quickly becomes reality, issues management is key. Identifying risks and issues early is crucial to the smooth running of your communications.

You can’t possibly identify every scenario, but experience helps you avoid the obvious pitfalls (trees, animals, closing hospitals, opening prisons etc) and if you ask the right questions other issues become obvious.

Of course, identification is just the start of the process, outlining the mitigations gives a proactive approach to dealing with things before they grow legs.

For complex projects risk registers will have been developed weighting and prioritising your management of the risks. It’s important to make sure the communications risks and issues are given equal airtime as these can derail entire projects.

All of Government Panel

Halo Communications is a provider on the All of Government Communications Panel.

Building relationships

Building relationships with communities is also key. In local government you’re often a lot closer to that community than in central government. If you get it wrong you will hear all about it at the next council meeting, in the local paper or at the café when you let slip where you work.

People know where to lay the blame and they know where to find you. You want to be found for all the right reasons – because your community knows you are approachable, reliable, you get things done and you have your community’s interests at heart. It’s about making sure you have a relationship with your community, one where they feel heard and appreciated because you understand the value of their input. After all, without these ratepayers you wouldn’t have a job.

In central government the stakes are high. If your project is a lemon or you misjudge your comms, you’ll know all about it and so will the whole country. It’s important to dot the ‘i’s and cross the ‘t’s. Double checking and quality assurance are part of everything you need to do.

The benefits of investing in stakeholder engagement up front will be obvious in the way your project progresses.

Getting your team together

When you’re setting up your project team, make sure you’ve got someone with a communications lens at your table.

If you don’t have this capability inhouse we can help you out. Angela’s experience across many councils and government departments means she can look at the bigger picture, understand public perceptions and quickly identify the types of risks and issues your project needs to factor in.

Let’s have a coffee and a conversation –  angela@halocommunications.co.nz