Communicating in Unprecedented Times: Lessons for governments

In Information and Communications by publicadmin

Duration: 1 week
Dates: 11 to 15 October 2021
Tuition fees:  £2,240 (exc. VAT)

About the workshop
Coronavirus has taught us many lessons, not least how a Government’s image affects its ability to implement policies and health strategies effectively; a positive image can take a long time to build up but can be destroyed very quickly; sometimes this can be accidental, sometimes the work of a bored teenager dabbling on social media in their bedroom or a more sinister and deliberate attempt by state sponsors using disinformation designed to undermine and destabilase a Government.

Whatever the cause, the effects can be disastrous and can prevent a Government carrying out its primary function – to protect its public. Image and reputation rely on accurate and timely communication through traditional news media and social media. Rapid changes in the media landscape and marketplace make communication ever more challenging, for ministers, their advisers, the officials as well as for professional communicators.

In the same way medical experts tackling Coronavirus need to implement a three-point strategy of prevention, detection, and treatment this course will show participants how to detect and counter false information using the latest AI tools and how to protect democracy using essential media and communication techniques.
This workshop will help you tackle these challenges by discussing the strategic basis of good communication and how the UK Government seeks to apply it both to digital and more traditional media. It includes visits to major international news organisations (e.g. the BBC and/or Reuters) and discussions with senior journalists, government communicators and experts in social media and stakeholder analysis.

There was a time when Governments could provide one message for their domestic audience and another for the global audience, but now social media has blurred these boundaries and communication is far more complex due to the huge number of interconnected global networks, as well as both misinformation and disinformation.
If you are on the front-line tackling Coronavirus you need PPE – personal protective equipment, if you are on the front line protecting your Government image then you need to attend this workshop.

What the workshop will cover
The workshop will review:
• How your Government has fared during the Coronavirus and the communication lessons identified on both traditional and social media platforms, including digital broadcasting
• Government priorities in managing public communication and the political dimension of dealing with diverse public interests
• New media priorities, public interest, and freedom of information
• The role of public relations and marketing professionals in media management and positive image promotion
• How to detect and counter false information on social media
• How to produce your own positive images using a smart phone to produce short broadcast quality video news reports – this session is designed for people with limited technical ability and no previous photography skills.

How participants will benefit
The workshop will:
• Develop your knowledge of how government and other public organisations use communications to help devise and deliver effective policies
• Help you to learn from the experience of UK Government communicators and of leading journalists and editors
• Encourage you to consider ways of using a range of media to widen access to public information and reach fragmented audiences
• Raise your awareness of how to handle public communication and apply strategic communication techniques to improve the image of your government
• Future-proofing your career by teaching you professional video production techniques.