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November 17, 2020
Canberra based Government communication agency, contentgroup, will host the world’s first virtual government communication conference (The GovComms Festival) as part of the OECD’s Government After Shock global dialogue on 17 November 2020.
The first GovComms Festival will gather analysts, researchers from inside and outside of government, service providers and public servants to explore:
  • how COVID-19 has changed the way government and public sector organisations communicate.
  • the impacts of technology on government communication.
  • the critical role of effective communication in successful digital transformation.
Government After Shock is led by the OECD and the European Commission. It will explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all areas of government. The GovComms Festival will examine the impact on communication.
“The response to the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the critical need for effective government communication,” said contentgroup founder and CEO David Pembroke.
“The communication function and profession inside government has traditionally not been highly valued and when the crisis hit, it exposed some real gaps in the communication capability and process of government’s all over the world.”
“One glaring example was in content. Governments’ failed to quickly create and distribute useful, relevant, consistent, and engaging multi-media content. When they needed to reach audiences on their ‘’owned’’ channels, the people simply were not there. When they did arrive, they were faced with page after page of hard to follow text. The citizen experience was poor.”
“The need to improve how government communicates is only increasing in importance. Given the central role digital technology plays in peoples’ lives and the emerging economic, demographic, technological and geopolitical challenges, effective two-way communication is core to building trust with citizens. It’s also the magic thread that drives collaboration and successful digital transformation.”
The GovComms Festival is an opportunity for government and public sector communicators from all over the world to share their experience of the pandemic and discuss the future of government communication beyond 2020.
“We have launched an expression of interest for anyone inside or outside of government who feels they have a relevant story or experience to share. I’d encourage people to get online to to register an interest to participate,” Pembroke said.

“This very first GovComms Festival is the stepping off point for a new conversation about the role and function of communication in government and the public sector. In the face of great challenges, governments must encourage an adaptive mindset in public servants to build and sustain high performing teams. They must drive collaboration with stakeholders and create learning organisations. None of these things can happen if communication is not treated as a strategic priority. It’s the right time to have a global conversation about the growing importance of communication in government and the public sector and the GovComms Festival is the ideal place to start it.”
“We’re using a platform (Hopin) that allows multiple streaming channels at the same time, so there will be dozens of hours of content that people can access.”
“There is a lot to be learnt as we look to a post COVID-19 world and we will learn those lessons on 17 November at the GovComms Festival.”