[PODCAST] How the UK Government Embraced Digital Transformation

How the UK Government Embraced Digital Transformation


JSB Talks Digital Podcast #101

JSB Talks Digital is a weekly digital marketing and social media podcast hosted by author, strategist, consultant, speaker and trainer Joanne Sweeney-Burke. Each Friday Joanne shares her digital marketing and social media insights from her work as CEO of Digital Training Institute. 

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In this episode #1o1, I discuss Digital Transformation within the UK Government’s Communications function.

In today’s show:

  • In social media news:
    • Snapchat Launches New Audio-Triggered Lenses
    • StumbleUpon has been Stamped Out But Mix is Born
    • A List of New Changes to Instagram
  • I interview Alex Aiken, Executive Director of Communications in the UK Government
  • Shoutouts: Three digital communications wins for the UK Government
  • Karl Heinz MEP asks JSB in Riga, Latvia
  • In JSB’s column: Why I think digital transformation is painful for the public sector      
  • And find out what social media tool saved my working week
LISTEN: How the UK Government Embraced #DigitalTransformation | #JSBTalksDigital #Podcast #PublicSector Click To Tweet

Listen to episode now:


Social Media News

Snapchat Launches New Audio-Triggered Lenses 

Audio is fast-becoming the hot new topic in AI conversations. By 2020 Comscore are predicting that 50% of searches online will be voice.

Now Snapchat is using the voice capabilities on mobile with the introduction of their new audio-triggered lenses.

Basically, you make a sound and the virtual ears on your head will glow and grow, relative to the noise level.

But the addition does pave the way for more innovative uses, with Snapchat noting that they’re planning to roll out more lenses of his type in the near future.


StumbleUpon has been Stamped Out But Mix is Born

At one stage StumpleUpon drove drove almost half the social traffic on the Internet!

But after 16 years of existence, one of the Internet’s first social discovery platforms, is shutting down.

However, listen up because a modern version of it has been born.

Mix is a new discovery platform that builds on StumbleUpon’s foundation and is owned by its creator Garett Camp.

He says it, “combines social and semantic personalization into one streamlined experience,” making it easier for users to organise content “into meaningful collections.”

Camp explains, Mix “will help you find obscure but interesting content that has been recommended by people you know and trust.”


A List of New Changes to Instagram

Instagram has announced a series of changes for greater engagement among users.

Sharing in the moment on Stories, connecting with friends over video and discovering new interests on Explore.

Soon we will be able to share from other apps into Insta Stories. Currently Spotify and GoPro are on board and Instagram say more will soon.

Video chat is also coming to Instagram – 1-2-1 or 1 to a small group. You will also be able to minimise the video and continue the chat while exploring Instagram.

New Ways to Share and Connect on Instagram

Source: Instagram


Interview with Alex Aiken, UK Government

Alex AikenIn this episode, I interview Alex Aiken, Executive Director of Communication in the UK Government.

The Executive Director of Government Communication is responsible for government communication strategy, managing the combined Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet Office communications team and serves as Head of Profession for the Government Communication Service.

Alex was appointed in December 2012 and has been responsible for creating the Government Communication Service and developing cross-government campaigns.

In this interview, Alex shares insights on digital communications for UK Government communications and is also very forthright on the role social media plays in defending the truth.

Find out more about Alex:

@tweetsbyJSB chats to @AlexanderAiken about how the UK Government has embraced #DigitalTransformation and the role social media plays in defending the truth | #JSBTalksDigital Click To Tweet

Listen to my interview with Alex:

My favourite quote from our chat:

Quote by Alex Aiken


Shout-Outs: Three digital communications objectives of the UK Government

In this part of the show I give shoutouts to brands, organisations or individuals whose work online is remarkable and worth talking about.

In this episode, my shoutouts go to the recently launched UK Government Communications Strategy.     

The annual Government Communication Plan outlines what communication professionals across Government will collectively deliver to support the Government achieve its priority outcomes.

Here’s my three top takeaways for public sector communications professionals.

1. Digital communications amplifies important public interest messaging

Last year’s UK Government Communications strategy results proved that digital plays a significant role in public interest messaging. Leveraging a range of channels they were able to reach over 45 million people online.


2. Integration is vital, because digital is everyone’s responsibility

The Impact Programme is an internal education programme aimed at improving the execution of consumer facing digital media. It focuses on high quality content, the ability to act nimbly and at speed, a sophisticated understanding of the digital channels available, and the skills needed to deliver this. The programme consists of a number of work-streams and is driven by an approach of rapid iteration.


3. Government services are more streamlined online 

Over 7 million calculations have been completed online on the ‘check your state pension’ service. They have developed internal frameworks to ensure that all departments follow the same model when launching a digital communications campaign.

  • The plan is available here
  • Find out more here



In this week’s ASK JSB, my question is from MEP Karl Heinz, an Austrian MEP who attended by workshop in Riga, Latvia last week.

I was there for the European Ideas Network Summer University. EIN is the think-tank of the EPP Group in the European Parliament. I was invited to speak on The News Rules of Social Media for Political Communications.

Karl wanted to know:

“How can I have a role in my own social media content as well as have a political assistant manage it because of my busy schedule?”

As you will hear, he loved JSB’s advice!

Don’t forget if you have a burning social media or digital marketing question, simply click on digitaltraininginstitute.ie/askjsb and leave me a voicemail. You can also send me your question to any of our social networks.


JSB Profile Pic

JSB’s Column: Why I think digital transformation is painful for the Public Sector

In today’s JSB’s column I share my thoughts on why I think digital transformation is painful for the public sector.

  1. Fear paralyses progress
  2. Thinking they need to know the how
  3. Senior leadership
  4. Personal bias
  5. Staff push-back
  6. Lack of skills and knowledge
@tweetsbyjsb shares her thoughts on why #DigitalTransformation is painful for the #PublicSector. | #JSBTalksDigital Click To Tweet


Social Media Tool of the Week: Time Graphics

The social media tool that saved my working week this week is Time Graphics.

This free online timeline maker is super easy to use and also paints a great picture of your timeline – whether it’s to illustrate a strategy timeline, project timeline, content timeline or social media timeline.

If you want to keep your timeline private you will have to upgrade to premium starting at $14 per month.

Find out more at: https://time.graphics


I love feedback

I’d love to know what you think about this episode. So please get in touch by commenting below or tweet me @tweetsbyJSB or send me a snap to @jsbsnaps.

Review JSB Talks Digital on iTunes


Listen: JSB Talks Digital Episode #101

I would like to thank Eoghan Murphy aka The Galway Gamer for producing my podcast series and to Flirt FM on the campus of NUI, Galway where I am based for the use of their studio.

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