Two years ago today, 10th March 2020, I drove home from County Hall in Chelmsford on a Friday evening…and didn’t go back into the office again for over a year.
One of the obviously characteristics of the pandemic period is that during that time, we’ve been dealing with a constant stream of mini-crises, starting with Covid, but with fuel shortages, Afghan refugees, cost-of-living and now the Ukraine war following in quick succession.
With all that going on, who has really had the chance to reflect on far we’ve travelled, what we’ve learned, and what the future looks like?
Well, the LGcomms and our commercial partners got the ball rolling for our industry earlier this week.
Our first-ever ‘Futures Thinking’ roundtable brought together local government communications leaders from the LGcomms executive committee, alongside our commercial partners from JCDecaux, Royal Mail, E-shot, TextHelp, SoCrowd and Adsmart from Sky.
All the conversation happened in the company of the LGcomms Future Leaders, the next generation of local government comms heads.
The key points from the conversation (which was filmed) will be shared at the LGcomms AGM in late April. But to whet your appetite for the findings, thinking around harnessing learning from the pandemic period, the resilience of our teams, the skills we’ll need in future, collaboration and issue-based priorities for the sector predominated.
Personally, what struck me was how much common ground there was around the table. At the risk of sounding trite, understanding where your partners are coming from and where you want to get to is the essential foundation to any collaboration. As much as the future is still characterised by uncertainty, we are off to a good start.
Andrew Allsopp is Head of Profession, Communications and Marketing, Essex County Council and is a member of the LGcomms Executive Committee.