Playing the engagement game

I’ve been following David Wilcox‘s work for some time and was lucky enough to be invited along to workshop yesterday where we got to play with the engagement game that David has been developing with Drew Mackie.

The game is designed to help organisations design engagement projects by focusing on objectives / rationale and stakeholder groups and then matching the appropriate communication methods. The game has changed a lot over the last year from early versions I saw on David’s blog – there is now no board which requires a bit more thought from workshop participants and there is a real focus on developing the story of the issue and the proposed (hoped for?) progress of the engagement programme.

I can see how the game would have real application within government, as well as outside, in helping policy teams to understand the importance of designing engagement programmes strategically and considering all possible options before they go diving in.

In particular, the inclusion of many social media methods into the game was instructive – not least because it teaches participants that none of this is an add on and that all activity requires resource, commitment and time.

My current work priorities

There’s always a lot going on, as you’d expect, but there are three things going on at the moment that are taking up most of my time:

A new website for a new department – my current employer effectively ceases to exist on 8 May and will be replaced by a new government department. My team and I are working furiously to build and test a new corporate website to launch on 9 May.

Website rationalisation – you may have seen this announcement a few months ago. Needless to say, it means a lot of work for the likes of me.

Social media review – helping the Cabinet Office to understand government’s role and legitimacy in this space. Interesting work and a chance to actually spend time and talk with experts whose work I find interesting but never normally have time to follow up. I’ll write more about this shortly.

Why this civil servant is blogging

For the last few months I have been assisting the Cabinet Office with a review of social media – looking at how government currently uses it, as well as the potential opportunities it poses in the future.  In my day job I also get asked fairly regularly by other civil servants how they go about setting up a blog.

I know enough about this area to point them in the direction but have come to the conclusion that to have any real credibility I ought to actually start writing a blog about my work that can hopefully provide pointers and advice to others working in the government (and wider public sector) web world.

This isn’t my first attempt at blogging but it is the first time I have written stuff about my professional life.