Government Communications Service
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The building of a brilliant collaborative digital space for government communicators

Blog posted by: Peter Heneghan, former Deputy Director of Digital Communications, Government Communications Service, 21 March 2023.

To paraphrase one Director of Communication: ‘Build us a brilliant collaborative digital space and then get out of the way’.

Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

Exploring what is new to GCS Connect

With GCS Connect – our simple, scalable, and secure cross-Government digital platform – this is exactly what we are doing. 

Launched in November, this platform has already attracted almost 4,600 members from every communication discipline, grade, and region of the UK, with more joining every day.

With over 173 organisations –  departments, agencies and ALBs – already registered, GCS Connect has become the go-to platform for government communicators. 

None of this would have been possible without our amazing Head of Development, Mizan Syed who is the mastermind of the product and also behind the success of the GCS Connect platform. Also a special thank you to the rest of the fantastic team – Sweety Mariam John, Liz Danaher and Stephanie Hill – for dedicating their time and effort to make this launch a reality.

Our platform will offer more than the popular “Find a GCS Colleague” directory and L&D courses. We believe these features are foundational. What comes next will be transformational driving a more collaborative and impactful communications profession. 

Over the next few months, exciting initiatives include GCS Mentoring, collaborative Groups/Forums, GCS Content Libraries, and Targeted Notifications (on-platform and email). 

So, what’s new and coming online with GCS Connect?

  • New Data and Insight Discipline Option (Available now) – To reflect the importance of Data and Insights within GCS, we have introduced the option for members to register with this discipline on GCS Connect profiles as your main communication specialism. Existing members should update this in your profile now. 
  • GCS Mentoring – Due to popular demand, a GCS Mentoring service will support growth and development for government communicators. GCS Connect will soon introduce a registration process for mentors and mentees, and also offers resources and best practices to enhance the cross-government mentoring experience.
  • Targeted Online Notifications – GCS Connect members who have fully completed the Details and Add your skills section, will soon be able to receive targeted notifications that are customised to meet your unique needs and interests. For example, members of the Internal Communications discipline will be able to receive specific updates and opportunities from your Head or Deputy Head of Discipline – the same applies to any other communications discipline. GCS Connect will deliver tailored messages based on discipline, location, or skillset, ensuring that the right information reaches the right people at the right time.  
  • Groups/Forums – Get ready to experience seamless collaboration with a touch of familiarity. Our Groups/Forums feature will bring together functionalities similar to Basecamp and Slack, providing a centralised space for news and discussions on the most critical topics. This feature is designed to cater to all GCS members, allowing you to find groups of interest based on your discipline, location, skillset, or even project. With a clear, organised structure, you’ll have access to the information, discussions content assets, ensuring that everyone is on the same page.
  • GCS Content Libraries – Say goodbye to the frustration of searching for the file owner of crucial campaign assets. The Content Libraries feature on GCS Connect will remove silos and provide access to a centralised library of key campaign assets, logos, style guides, and other important documents. Eliminate the inconsistencies of assets and enjoy easy access to a wealth of resources across government. 

What can you do

Your participation is crucial to driving the success of GCS Connect. Here’s how you can play a role in shaping the future of our platform:

  • Sign up for GCS Connect: Be a part of the community by registering for our platform.   
  • Complete Your Profile: Take a few minutes to fully complete the Details section, and most importantly, the Add Your Skills section. This will give us a clear understanding of your professional discipline, skillset, location, and grade. This allows us to deliver more personalised and relevant experiences for you.
  • Keep up to date by signing up to the GCS newsletter.
  • Data & Insights discipline has recently been added. Experts in this field should now update their profile to reflect this, so that you can be part of your discipline’s community and find people with similar skills.
  • Share your insights: We’re constantly looking to showcase best practices, learn from lessons and stay ahead of the curve. 

If you have any feedback on products or features you’d like to see in the future, we’d love to hear from you! Email

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