Celebrate government communication

The Good Communication Awards aim to promote and encourage the public sector’s efforts towards effective communication with its citizens and its workforce. Taking place on Wednesday 30 May at the London Grosvenor Square Marriott, the four award categories (Print, Public Relations, IT and Telecoms) will recognise the individuals and organisations that have demonstrated effectiveness and innovation. The spectacular awards evening will be hosted by GMTV news presenter Penny Smith.

Responsibility
Local and central government departments are responsible for selecting the most effective language and communication channels for diverse audiences. As government communication embraces a broad range of techniques, technologies and professional skills in order to keep citizens informed, making sure these channels are accessible, easy to use and represent value for money requires a huge amount of dedication, professionalism and communications expertise. The 2006 awards attracted over 160 entrants from the UK public sector, with many entries standing out as examples of best practice.

New for 2007
Now in its third year, new awards for 2007 include the Internal Communications Award, which recognises successful internal communications practices that assist in building a culture to support strategy execution and effective communication with other core functions within the authority. In the IT category, the IT Project Award will go to a local authority or central government department that has delivered an IT project within budget and to specification that furthers the progress of e-government and improves communication channels between government and the citizen.

Judgement day
The GCA Judging Panel will consist of experts in communication from leading technology organisations, trade associations and marketing/PR professionals. A full list of the judges will be posted on www.gcawards.co.uk.
    
New for 2007, the GCA Forum will give delegates the opportunity to hear and interact with experts in public relations, e-government, publishing and telecommunications. After a buffet lunch, delegates will also get the opportunity to vote for who they think deserves the prestigious Local Authority of the Year Award. Five shortlisted authorities will present their case to the audience and judging panel, with electronic voting figures forming a percentage of the overall score.

Interactive voting
The instant voting system will also feature at the GCA Forum, a series of 20 minute presentations from experts in all areas of communication. The results of the instant polls are then incorporated into the presentation and  up for discussion by the presenter and audience. The session presenters are currently being finalised, and will feature experts in media and communications. The sessions will be available in audio and video format to each delegate after the event.

To enter
To enter the Good Communication Awards, you must submit a 500 word entry statement on why the programme/project/department/ individual is exceptional.
    
Organisations may enter in more than one category, but a separate entry statement must be submitted for each award category entered. Entry is open to local authorities, central government departments, charities, voluntary sector organisations and academia.
    
Entry Statements should include details of the project/department’s aims and objectives, research, strategy, execution, evaluation of success and cost-effectiveness (if applicable).  If the department or authority has mentioned involvement of any third party suppliers or partnering organisations, then please supply their contact details with your entry.
    
Supporting materials such as internal or external market research, surveys, media coverage, third-party statements etc should be provided where necessary. Certain awards, such as Council Publication of the Year in the Print Category, will require you to post additional supporting evidence. You will find the address to post these at the bottom of the article.
    
You can also save paper and enter the Good Communication Awards online. Entry statements can be uploaded via the online form. See www.gcawards.co.uk for details.

Raise a glass
Keith Elliott, chairman, PMA, is a renowned journalist with wide experience in all types of publishing. He is also Chair of the Council Publication of the Year judging panel. Kieth says: “Raise a glass to those who work on council publications and websites. These awards recognise what a fine and important job you are doing in often trying circumstances. And maybe, just maybe, the recognition you will get here might make those who take their council publications for granted appreciate how fortunate they are.”
    
Send entries to: The Good Communication Awards, PSE Ltd, 226 High Road, Loughton, Essex, IG10 1ET.For more information
Tel: 020 8532 0055
Fax: 020 8532 0066
Website: www.gcawards.co.uk

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