Government Communications Service
Printable version

Launching the Modern Communications Operating Model 3.0

Blog posted by: James Cox, 5 July 2023.

Portrait photo of James Cox, Director of Communications at the Department for Education.

All of us working in the Government Communication Service (GCS) should strive to deliver really effective communications whilst playing our part in building equally effective, well-run, happy, constantly learning, and improving teams.

That’s no mean feat. And all of us – at whatever level – need proper support and guidance to make it happen. 

That’s why today I’m proud to be the Director of Comms-sponsor to the launch of the updated GCS Modern Communications Operating Model 3.0 (MCOM). This is a simple and clear ‘how to’ guide putting all the advice, guidance, good practice and standards from across GCS into a single place.

This MCOM is the third version of this vital source of information and will help make sure all of us working across the GCS continue to develop outstanding government communication through great people, effective team structures and clear policies and guidance.

As a Director of Comms in a major government department, I know how busy everyone always is but – please – everyone should make the time to have a good read of MCOM 3.0 which has been designed to be more accessible and user-friendly than ever before.

I hope GCS members will find it both stretching and reassuring. It should help you understand what is expected as well as outline clearly how the GCS can help support you: all under the shared purpose of delivering outstanding government communication fit for the modern age.  

The 3 pillars of MCOM

You’ll see that the MCOM ‘house’ diagram has three pillars – People and Structure; Policies and Guidance; and Tools – all supporting the delivery of the GCS Strategy 2022 – 2025 and the UK Government Communication Plan.

These three pillars will help you create and deliver your organisation’s communications plans and priorities while developing your teams.

Aimed at team leaders and all of you as government communicators, each pillar sets out clearly and concisely what you must do; what you should do and, crucially, the guidance and tools available that you could use.

This MCOM is designed to be helpful whatever communication role you do; whether you are new or leading a team and whatever the type and size of organisation you work in. 

We want this MCOM to get across and make available the huge amount of helpful GCS guidance and support in a clear and accessible way – without bamboozling or overloading already busy communicators and teams.

I’m very (very) proud to have three GCS heads of discipline for Media, External Affairs and Marketing working in my team at the Department for Education. And they tell me just how important it is for teams to be aware of our legal requirements; the frameworks we should use to plan; how we should implement and evaluate our campaigns; and being familiar with key GCS products, including the latest guidance on crisis communications and developing capability.

Indeed, the Department for Education team has shared its approach to building strong links with embedded communicators which has been included in MCOM – and I strongly encourage other teams to share their best practice so we can continue to learn from each other.

MCOM is available to read now on the GCS website – this time as a web page rather than a PDF.  Of course, this makes it more interactive and easier to navigate but also that it’s more easily updated as new guidance or products become available. I know the GCS team is very interested to hear your feedback and ideas on how we can improve it further, so please do get in touch with them at   

I really hope you find MCOM as helpful as I will as we work together to deliver effective communications and build the best teams we can.

James Cox, Director of Communications, Department for Education

Related content


Channel website:

Original article link:

Share this article

Latest News from
Government Communications Service

The State of Cybersecurity in 2023