The Complete Communications Professional

Please contact us for further information and to arrange an in-depth discussion of your learning & development requirements. Email David Leakey on [email protected] or phone on +44 20 7661 7817.


This course is designed specifically for people working in communications roles in the civil service and in the world of politics. The day is structured around the work that you will be involved in in these worlds, covering the principles of communication, media management, the press office, building coherent communications and strong networks, and understanding narrative.

Who is the seminar designed for?

The seminar is designed for all those who are seeking to build on their existing knowledge of communications. It will enable you to deepen your understanding of all the inter-twined approaches, practices, relationships and theories that exist in the world of communications in the realm of public policy and politics. It wil also be of use for those working in non-communications roles, who need to quickly establish a proper professional level of understanding of the detail of how the world of communications works.

How will you benefit from attending?

You will develop a coherent, practical and methodical understanding of the “why” as well as the “how” of the specilised kinds of communications strategies and procedures that are most effective in public sector and political comms work, so that you can confidently plan, manage, roll out comms strategies. It will also explain how everything fits together most effectively, enabling you to improve your own personal communications.

Learning Outcomes

You will:
Learn key concepts of communications, and why these matter
Examine media management and the roles of marketing and audience research
Look at how to manage communications in a crisis (and how not to!)
Understand the different roles and relationships that exist in the world of communications, why these are important, and nhow you can work to best effect within this environment
Understand the work of the press office
Learn how to build coherent strategies and relationships based on shared values and aims
Learn how to prepare yourself and others for interviews, the importance of consistency and messaging
Understand what narrative is and how to make use of it on different levels in your comms work


Welcome and Introductions

Session One: The Principles of Communication

Introducing communications within the world of public policy and politics. Key concepts including media management, marketing, audience research and engagement, strategic communications and crisis communications.

Discussion points:

  • How can communications help shape the policy environment?
  • What does good look like for communications professionals?

Session Two: Media Management

Exploring the main tools used to shape media coverage: building relationships with journalists and commentators, framing, trailing, media releases, evidence, research, collateral, briefing, lines to take, spokespeople, events and photo ops, scheduling, endorsements. Ethics and attribution. Media monitoring.

Discussion points:

  • Communicating in a hostile envirionment
  • Commissioning research to set the agenda

Session Three: Press Office

Setting out the structure and functions of a typical media operation. Roles and responsibilities, reporting lines, relations with ministers / senior officials, budgets, management, targets and evaluation. Integration with social media and marketing. Paid campaigns. Recruitment. Skills and competencies. Career paths.

Discussion points:

  • Doing more with limited time / resources
  • Managing risks, costs and rewards in social media

Session Four: Working Inwards and Upwards

Exploring ways to build strong relationships with colleagues in policy and service delivery. Managing expectations and securing buy-in. Building trust to ensure openness about risk. Supporting ministers and senior colleagues. Preparation for interviews. Media training. Communicating in a crisis.

Discussion points:

  • How to turn complex policies into media-friendly messaging
  • How to develop or challenge audience perceptions?

Session Five: Narrative

Developing narratives that work across different audiences and channels, bringing together values, vision, policy, evidence and arguments; combining it with effective language and imagery; ensuring consistency and coherence; and anticipating objections and attack-points. Understanding techniques such as story-telling, framing and ‘killer facts’.

Discussion points:

  • Does producing a narrative require external/specialist skills and experience?
  • How can you tell if a narrative is working?

Conclusions and Reflection

Our L&D ethos

  • We’re here to enable you to perform better!

Our L&D team

  • All former practitioners, now professional trainers, our L&D team have provided open and bespoke solutions for more than 100,000 public servants from 120 countries

Our L&D seminars

  • A vast reservoir of international, transferable knowledge and perspectives about effective, delivery-focused approaches to working smarter in the public sector

Please contact us for further information and to arrange an in-depth discussion of your learning & development requirements. Email David Leakey on [email protected] or phone on +44 20 7661 7817.