Public Service Communications Academy 2021

LGcomms and the Government Communications Service (GCS) are pleased to announce that the 2021 dates for the annual Public Service Communications Academy (or Academy) have been set! This year’s theme is Partnerships, Performance and People – three essential elements for effective communications that we all need to develop and look after (do read our Chair Alix Macfarlane’s blog on this year’s event theme).


Tuesday 23 – Wednesday 24 November 2021


Following last year’s success and your feedback, we will once again meet virtually on the event platform Hopin.

Ticket price

Who?1-day ticket2-day ticket
LGcomms members £100 + VAT £200 + VAT
Non-members £200 + VAT £400 + VAT
Ticket prices for Academy 2021

An LGcomms membership is £250+VAT (per year, per organisation) and does not only mean a discounted Academy tickets, but also gives you access to all our other seminars for free. 

Programme outline

Day 1: 23 November

09.15-09.25Welcome and introduction to Academy
09.25-09.40Day 1 opening address
09.40-10.00Keynote 1
Session 1
A global gaze: COP26 and G7 in focus
When the world comes to your doorstep, how do you cope?
The UK has been centre stage twice in the past year, thanks to the efforts of
local comms teams working in close partnership those in central government.
11.00-11.15Industry session
Session 2
Paralympic effort: (Dis)ability and what it means for communicators
Following the inspirational stories of the 2021 Paralympic Games,
an inside look at the communication efforts behind the scenes in Tokyo.
12.15-12.45Lunch break
Session 3
Carbon 2030: The impact of joined up communications
To meet the ambitious targets of a low carbon future, a joint approach from
local and national communication teams is going to be crucial – what does this
look like, and what should we be doing now. This will include practical case studies
that can be used by very small and low budget comms teams.
13.45-14.00 Industry session
Session 4
Internal communicators: Never more important
Offering insight on the exceptional skills of internal communicators that
have been called on across the nation over the last year to support
the incredible efforts of the public service in tackling a global pandemic.
Session 5
Content is king: How to navigate the new social media order
Tik Tok, LinkedIn and Facebook are invited to tell all on what’s next
for social media and why content is everything when it comes to
reaching audiences.
16.05-16.20 Industry session
Session 6
Accessible communication: A new standard
One year on from the new legal requirements on accessible communication,
a practical session looking at best practice for content creation and
audience engagement.
17.20-17.30Day 1 summary
Programme for Day 1 at Academy 2021

Day 2: 24 November

09.15-09.25Welcome and introduction to Day 2
09.25-9.40Day 2 opening remarks
09.40-10.00Keynote 2
Session 7
Future skills: What next for comms?
Panel session exploring what the future may look like for public service
communicators, in the context of a constantly shifting audience landscape and
more demanding and varied skill sets that keep us innovating.
11.00-11.15 Industry session
Session 8
Mental health: Safeguarding wellbeing as we return to the workplace
The what, why and how of the mental health conversation we all need to have,
to ensure we can continue providing the exceptional communication consultancy
and services we are known for. To include the pressures of working in the
post pandemic world, mixing the return to the office with WFH.
12.15-12.45Lunch break
12.45-13.45The Public Service Communication Awards 2021
13.45-14.00 Industry session
Session 9
Managing talent: From the ground up
Exploring the ins and outs of what makes a successful comms team now and in
the future, from nurturing young apprentices to setting future leaders on their path.
Session 10
Comms on the front line: Fostering resilience when under pressure
Public service communicators face unique challenges in their roles, many
under extreme pressure in life changing circumstances; this session focuses
on those who do it every day: police, fire and ambulance comms teams.
16.05-16.20 Industry session
Session 11
Who I am: Ask me anything
A panel discussion featuring diverse leaders from across public service
communication, answering questions from the audience on their past,
present and future.
17.20-17.30Closing remarks
Programme for Day 2 at Academy 2021

About Academy

The Public Service Communications Academy (Academy) is a well-established annual event for public sector communicators from across the country to come together, develop key skills and share ideas, with a focus on low and no-cost campaigns. Organised by LGcomms and the Government Communication Service (GCS), the event offers a mix of learning, expert speakers, networking, practical training and interactive sessions for communications professionals at all career levels.

The event is supported by the PRCA and the Local Government Association (LGA).