In my most recent role, I've been working with the Deputy Government Chief Digital Officer and her team here in New Zealand, in putting together a Channels Strategy 'Whakameto' (Advance) for the Digital Public Service (DPS) branch.
I used the double diamond process in discovery, definition of challenges, delivering a strategy aiming to address them.
All of the work is guided by wider framing, including The Strategy for a Digital Public Service and our DIA organisational values To Tatou Mahi, in particular how our people share and celebrate stories about how their mahi (work) makes a positive impact for New Zealanders - directly and indirectly.
This process included thirty sessions with the branch, other public sector agencies, as well as gathering insights from international counterparts, such as the Canadian Digital Service.
Ultimately we learned that we need to be bolder, truly work in the open, articulate value in a more authentic way, and try new ways to tell our stories. Our channels are core to how we work, and as such they help lift capability across the public service by highlighting the potential in positive, systemic change in overcoming common challenges.
The new DPS channel vision acts as a beacon to which our engagement teams can look to. It is to:
“Share our mahi stories early and often, so we are trusted, transparent, authentic and we mobilise and inspire the public service.”
This vision is an overarching statement of intent helping us set clear objectives, initiate creative pieces of work.
In the ethos of 'The Strategy is Delivery', the vision is grounded in a set of objectives that informs work clearly, quickly. We've stood up a new Editorial Group, Rōpū (collective) that helps set/measure/report on the objectives that the channels team have to realise this vision.
Rōpū will help:
- Build a diverse, rich content mix
- Accelerate incremental, performant communications releases
- Build the awareness and reputation of DPS
- Join up analytics reporting
- Support an empowered, communications savvy branch
This editorial group helps collectively agree on a set of Key Results to measure progress against achieving these objectives.
The world in an increasingly noisy place, particularly via the channels we consume incessantly. We need to stand out, or at least not add to that sometimes cacophony! To do this we need a strong, authentic identity that resonates with our audience, users. The strategic vision for our channels starts the process of bringing structure to the way we communicate and engage, helping create the conditions where branch teams have support to ensure messaging is coherent and aligned to wider strategic narratives.
The vision itself is broad and objectives will flex as and when things change.
Teams are empowered in working through messaging as appropriate and supported in creative treatment of key narratives. In time we'll know more about what works, what does not, and test funding opportunities for channel development, content design outside of BAU, project cycles too; i.e. test new content types like podcasts, webinars, video, anything that helps us elicit engagement.
The DPS team do some incredible work informing digital transformation in government in Aotearoa. It has been brilliant to be 'in amongst it' for over five years, part of a team committed to positive change and making real differences to the lives of kiwis.
Like anywhere, there are challenges aplenty, but the team continue to create the conditions for agencies to do better in service delivery for all. This channels work is a small part of that bigger picture, playing an important role for talented teams in getting their positive stories out far and wide. Ka pai!