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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 02/10/2007
Communications Review Update



APPENDIX H
Waverley Borough Council

Executive - 2ND october 2007

Title:
COMMUNICATIONS REVIEW UPDATE
[Wards Affected: All]

Summary and purpose:

The purpose of this report is to update Members on the review of Communications.

Environmental implications:

Less paper will be used to produce Making Waves. The review of publications should also result in a reduction in the use of paper and less printing.

Social / community implications:

The editorial style of Making Waves will be more appealing to a wider audience than the previous ‘The Link’ magazine, resulting in a more inclusive council publication.

E-Government implications:

It is likely that information which is currently only produced in a printed format, will be made more widely available on Waverley’s website.

Resource and legal implications:

The review is being carried out within existing resources and there are no legal implications.
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Background

1. In May 2007, at the initiation of the relevant portfolio holder, a review of communications was started with the aim of improving how Waverley communicates with its residents in 2007 and beyond. A first step of the review has centred round the relaunch of the Council’s external magazine, known formerly as The Link.

2. Areas that are being reviewed and the progress that has been made to date are as follows:

External publication

3. Waverley’s new look magazine will be relaunched in October and distributed to all households and businesses at the beginning of November. Entitled ‘Making Waves’, the new format is intended to be very visual and lively. The first edition will consist of six A3 pages of which two will be tailored to Waverley’s four main areas, three pages will be generic information and one page will be advertising.

4. To assist with providing a tailored publication, Members were asked to contribute ideas for content. This invitation received a good response and generated many ideas, which will be incorporated into future editions.

Branding

5. Guidelines on how to use Waverley’s corporate logo were introduced in 2005. With a new Council administration we are now looking at the wider issue of branding.

Review of publications

6. It is known that Waverley produces in excess of 50 information leaflets. As part of the review of how Waverley communicates, a process will be introduced to establish circumstances where a leaflet is the most suitable channel of communication.

Advanced media strategy

7. To raise the profile of services and to show how Waverley is striving towards becoming a customer focused Council, it is planned to have an advanced media strategy to focus media activity on Waverley’s aim to promote and educate on the subject of recycling and Waverley’s plans to improve its leisure centres. To ensure messages are coordinated, it is intended that this will be looked at as part of the wider issue of branding.

Website

8. The Council is currently undergoing a process for the appointment of a website manager. A new content management system for the website was the subject of a previous council decision and the new website will hopefully be launched in April 2008.

Peer visits

9. So far, visits have taken place at Woking and Guildford Borough Councils to find out how they communicate with residents and lessons that could be learned by Waverley. A visit is planned to take place at Westminster City Council who, by centralising or unifying their communications activities, have achieved savings of in excess of 1million over three years.

Conclusion

10. As a result of best practice and lessons learned, improvements are being made to Waverley’s main channels of communications. These improvements will be regularly monitored to ensure Waverley’s residents receive efficient and effective communication.

11. As part of a wider restructuring, the need to communicate effectively with residents is appreciated. It is hoped that any revised structure will place greater emphasis on communications.

Recommendation

The Executive is recommended to note the impact of the communications review on the residents of Waverley and to continue to keep communications under review in the future.

Background Papers (CEx)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Julie Jackson Telephone: 01483 523204

E-mail: jjackson@waverley.gov.uk


comms\executive\2007-08\108 communications.doc