Govt Communications & Best Practices

government communications

Govt Communications Resources

Government communications cover a range of skills and public information services. We’ve gathered a range of information sources and insights into the world of government communications.

Here, public relations skills are applied to a lot of  interesting and sometimes controversial information programs. Learn more about government communications, explore best practices and have a look at examples of effective public affairs and public information programs.

You’ll find other PR resources at  Community Relations, Public Consultation, Strategic Public Relations and The PR Coach Blog: This Just In….  Many sites have PDF documents which may need patience while opening. Sites with a W are PR Coach “winners.”

3 Case Studies in Social Media Experimentation
Gov2.0 is thriving as these three case studies show.

Air Force New Media [Video 10:50]
This YouTube video shows how the USAF is using social media.

Amber Alert: Best Practices Guide for Public Information Officers
Tips to maximize PIO effectiveness before, during and after an Amber Alert.

Are .gov Sites Pushing Propaganda?
Here’s a public affairs and PR debate for the bar.

Blogs from the US Government
Here’s a handy list of active US government blogs, updated regularly.   W

CDC Publishes Social Media Toolkit Online
Best guide ever; 12 Gov2.0 lessons.  W

Calling All Communicators: Speak Up for Your Profession
Barbara Gibson highlights the layoffs in government communicators in New Zealand.

Communicating About Contamination
Excellent communications case study about soil clean up in Newcastle, UK.

Communicators Guide
Older but still thorough and relevant looks at the role of government communicators. Produced by the Federal Communicators Network, it includes planning, working with the media and an extensive how-to section.   W

Communicating With Elected Officials, Policy Makers and the Media
2020 Vision provides tips on communicating with strategic officials as well as practical media tips like letters to the editor, op-eds and media interviews.   W

Communications Policy of the Government of Canada: Executive Summary
Brief policy document outlines how communications should work in the federal government.

Congress.org
A non-partisan news and information website designed to encourage citizen participation in US government by enabling you to write directly to elected federal and state officials. Their media list is also superb!   W

Connecting With Communities: Communications Toolkit
The UK Improvement & Development Agency provides a set of excellent tips and best practices for local agencies to follow in reaching out to citizens.   W

Creating Content that Serves its Civic Duty
Excellent gov 2.0, opengov tips, 3 examples.

Cupcakes and Gov 2.0
Merritt Colaizzi reviews a seminar on Gov 2.0 social media innovations.

Designing Social Media Policy for Government
Center for Technology in Government suggests eight essential elements to be considered in developing an agency’s social media policies.

Does the Pentagon Engage in Inappropriate Public Relations Activity?
Dr Michael Turney reviews recent allegations hat Department of Defense didn’t follow the rules when engaging in PR activity.

Drought Plan – Annual Public Information Program
Simple two-page communication plan from Metro Washington.

Government 2.0 Club
A Google Group just for government communicator and PR pros.

Government 2.0: How Social Media Could Transform Gov PR
Mark Drapeau writes that government communication could be vastly changed and improved with social media’s transparency and authenticity. Think Obama.

H2IQ: A Public Information Program
An interesting effort by DOE to increase public awareness of hydrogen.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Social Media
Social media survival guide for US public sector professionals has helpful tips.

IDeA Community Engagement
Browse this useful set of effective community engagement tips and best practices for local government. Includes engaging with hard-to-reach groups.   W

IDeA Internal Communications
An excellent set of local government internal communications best practices and resources.   W

Interviewing Public Information Officers
Audio clip with PIO views on dealing with reporters aimed at reporters.

LocalLeaks
WikiLeaks type site aims to press for cleaner, more effective government by exposing wrongdoing at all G levels. Worth keeping an eye on as it develops.

Media Relations and the Role of the Public Information Officer: What Every DMAT Member Should Know
Looks at the role of PIOs during natural disasters and civil emergencies and offers practical media relations tips.

Media Relations: Award-Winning Tactics
Learn how two UK Councils managed their reputations through proactive media relations.

National Association of Government Communicators
NAGC is a national nonprofit org with many resources for govt communicator members at all levels.  Includes news, job board, training and professional development.  W

National Information Officers Association
If you’re a public emergency or safety information officer, NIOA is worth considering.

New Media and the Air Force
This Air Force guide to new media is an excellent blueprint for any organization with social media aspirations.   W

News Orgs Should Look to Government for Innovation
Government innovation. Is that an oxymoron or is Patrick Thornton right in his look at NASA’s Spacebook?

PLAIN Humor
These resources from the Plain Language and Information Network will make you chuckle.

Plain Language Action and Information Network
These radicals are doing great work encouraging the spread of plain language in all government communications. Features examples (some humorous), tips, how-tos, resources and federal plain language guidelines.    W

Press Conferences – Lessons Learned
HighNoonFilm offers some valuable media relations tips and lessons from recent PIO situations.

PRO Communicator
Blog with tools and tips for public information officers and professional communicators.

Simon Wakeman
Wakeman blogs about UK public sector communications, PR, marketing.

Social Media: Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse 
Center for Disease Control saw great results from an innovative “zombie” campaign.   W

Sunlight Foundation Follows Lobbyist Tweets
If you follow affairs in DC, you’ll want to keep an eye on Sunlight Foundation’s list of lobbyists on Twitter – an excellent resource.

Tasmanian Government Communications – Strategy and Implementation
Here’s a set of strategic planning tools and templates worth a look from down under (Australia).

The Public Sector Excellence Database
Information on innovative, award-winning programs implemented by a variety of state and local governments.   W

The Size of the Spin
Australian radio program looks at the “dark underside” of government spin in an interview with writer Bob Burton.

Tips on Using “Twitter” in EM and Public Safety
A set of excellent tips for PIOs or any PR on using Twitter in EM situations.   W

Tools for Online Idea Generation: A Comparison of Technology Platforms for Public Managers
Comparison of online platforms for idea generation to assist public managers in the planning of stakeholder engagement.

Top 10 Best Practices for Government Websites
Here’s a useful best practices checklist and tips on website design, managing content, web usability, measurement and regulations.

Top 10 Things Congressional Staff Hate to Hear
Slightly tongue-in-cheek but relevant list from Families USA.

Top 9 Things I Hear Myself Saying About Social Media to Others 
Same for PR.

Unique Characteristics of Government Employment
Dr. Michael Turney explores the unique challenges of doing PR in that giant fish bowl called government.

US Government PR Contracts
SourceWatch keeps a watchful eye on domestic and foreign govt PR contracts, hoping to expose conflicts, highlight ethical concerns and inform the public.

US Government RSS Library
Here’s a list of US government RSS news feeds for hose who want to track govt news.

US Government Twitter Fan Wiki
Want to know who’s tweeting in the US government? It’s all here including Barack and Michelle Obama, The White House, Department of Homeland Security,NASA, Jesse Jackson and many agencies, congress reps, senators and more.   W

US National Strategy for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication
This comprehensive strategy guides the US govt’s public diplomacy and strategic communication with foreign audiences.

Web 2.0 Challenges Traditional Government Communications
Article by Jim Stanton examines the impact of new media and the implications for government communications. Note his eight fundamental communications needs the public seek from their govt officials.   W

Web Content Managers Forum
Calling all government web professionals. With more than 1400 members of this online community, you’ll find news, tips, resources, training and professional development.

Writing Communications Plans
Here’s a set of thorough tips from the Federal Communicators Network  to help you write an effective communications plan and a crisis communications plan.   W

Photo credit: Daniel Pascoal