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Best practices from the Netherlands Planning and implementing government communication. Friday, November 28. Pieter Borsboom (1967). University degree in Economics 16 years public communications Of which 7,5 years managing director communication agency Education of professionals (SRM)

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best practices from the netherlands planning and implementing government communication
Best practices from the Netherlands

Planning and implementing government communication

Friday, November 28

pieter borsboom 1967
Pieter Borsboom (1967)
  • University degree in Economics
  • 16 years public communications
  • Of which 7,5 years managing director communication agency
  • Education of professionals (SRM)
  • Since 2005: independent consultant & interim manager communications
today
Today

09.30 Planning government communication: an overview

10.30 Coffee break

11.00 Analyze it! What’s the communication challenge?

12.30 Lunch

13.30 Tax and Customs Administration, Arjan Hoeffnagel

15.00 Group work: What’s the communication challenge?

16.00 Plenary reports and discussions

17.00 Closing remarks, questions

17.30 End of day 1

tomorrow
Tomorrow

09.00 Formulate it: public communication strategy

10.30 Coffee break

11.00 Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, Koos Tamis

12.30 Lunch

13.30 Group work: What’s the communication strategy?

14.30 Plenary reports and discussions

15.15 Tea break

15.30 Implementing it: do it, check and adapt

17.00 Closing remarks and questions

17.30 End of day 2

an overview planning and implementing government communication
An overview

Planning and implementing government communication

government has several policy instruments
Government has several policy instruments
  • Legislation: laws, rules
  • Law enforcement: fines, punishments
  • Financial measures: taxes, excise duty, subsidies, benefits
  • Capacity measures: (extra) human resources
  • .. and communication
many reasons
Many reasons
  • Informing the public about a new law in preparation
  • Making the public
    • familiar with rights or duties
    • consider certain topics
  • Influencing the public behaviour
  • Improving the image of government
and even more reasons
And even more reasons
  • Putting a subject on the public’s agenda
  • Making stakeholders talk or cooperate (Famous Dutch ‘Poldermodel’)
  • Influencing the public’s political opinions
policymaker
Policymaker
  • ‘My subject is of great importance and interest of everyone.’
  • ‘Therefore everyone has to know everything about it, including all the nuances...’
  • ‘...and everybody has to know why it is the way it is.’
public
Public

What’s in it for me?

  • ‘Is this important/interesting?’
  • ‘What are they telling me?’
  • ‘What are consequences for me?’
  • ‘Do I have an advantage?’
  • ‘Is this worth my time or money?’
communication professional
Communication professional
  • ‘For whom is this really relevant and of interest?’
  • ‘What do they think about it?’
  • ‘What is the big picture?’
  • ‘In what way is this related to...?’
  • ‘Is there budget for communication?’
communication has to do two things
Communication has to do two things
  • Bring the outside world to the inside world [and vice versa]
  • To attribute meaning to [plain] information

(Roelf Middel)

four related key concepts

Policy

Social issue

Communication

Stakeholders

Four related key concepts
what does this new policy mean
What does this (new) policy mean?
  • Who needs to know what about it?
  • Who needs to think how about it?
  • Who needs to do or act?
strategic choices
Strategic choices
  • Positioning the subject (naming)
  • Key message (promise, proof, tone)
  • Who is sender of communication?
  • Target group segmentation
  • Resource strategy (media, activities)
  • Designing a communication process according to a time schedule
analyze it
Analyze it
  • Be clear about what [it] is
  • Look at the relevant context and relations
  • Establish the role of communication
formulate strategy
Formulate strategy
  • Formulate the key message
  • Decide on the target groups
  • Choose activities, media, instruments
do it
Do it
  • Make a time schedule
  • Budget all activities
  • Organise who’s doing what
  • Realisation/implementation
    • Creativity
    • Production
    • Media buying
check and adapt
Check and adapt
  • Measure (before and after)
  • Evaluate (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Adapt strategy or actions
case wao becomes wia
Case: ‘WAO’ becomes ‘WIA’
  • A new Disability Benefits Act
  • Impact on all social partners
  • Introduced in 2003
  • By the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment
  • Agency: Tappan Communicatie in association with TMP Worldwide
analyze it what s the communication challenge
Analyze it!

What’s the communication challenge?

analyze it questions
Analyze it - questions
  • What is the social issue?
  • What is the proposed policy?
  • Who are the stakeholders?
  • What is the potential role for communication?
analyze the issue
Analyze the issue
  • What is it?
  • What’s the history of the issue?
  • What are facts on the issue?
  • What is known about the issue?
  • What are related issues?
  • What is the communication history?
balkenende ii government
Balkenende II government

“The proportion of people in work can be increased by reducing the number of those who are unable to work through sickness or disability, by increasing the incentives for unemployment benefit claimants to find work, ... We need to do so if we are to maintain a good system of basic social provision in the Netherlands that meets modern needs.”

Policy Statement, June 11, 2003

the current wao 1967
The current ‘WAO’ (1967)
  • Disability Benefits Act
  • Meant for paid employees
  • If you become (partly) incapable of work
  • You can receive state benefits
  • Unlimited in height and duration
the current wao 2
The current ‘WAO’, 2
  • Doesn’t stimulate going back to work
  • Cheap way to get rid of employees
  • WAO population grows and grows
  • And has become far too expensive
  • ‘WAO’ = ‘hopeless case, will never go back to work’
becomes wia 2006
Becomes: ‘WIA’ (2006)
  • ‘WIA’: Law Work and Income according to your ability to work
  • Passes houses of Parliament in 2005
  • Effective as of January 2006
  • UWV, the social security agency, will execute the WIA
hands off of our wao
‘Hands off of our WAO!’
  • Several cabinets tried changing the WAO, with loud protests as result
  • So proposals were being withdrawn
analyze the policy
Analyze the policy
  • What is in essence the solution proposed by the government?
  • What is it? A new or adapted policy plan, a new programme or a law?
  • What are the instruments used?
  • What is the ultimate goal of the proposed solution?
  • Good or bad news? For whom?
the new act wia
The new act ‘WIA’
  • Reduce numbers, limit growth
  • Improve prevention activities
  • Stimulate the return to work
  • Everybody who is (partly) able to work, has to work (partly)
  • Those who are 100% incapable of work, will receive benefits
further more
Further more
  • Employers have to continue salary payments for two years after the employee became incapable of work
  • Incapable employees who (partly) work, receive additional benefits.
  • Employers and employees have a common responsibility regarding prevention and reintegration
sorts of players
Sorts of players
  • Influencers
  • Decision makers
  • Suppliers
  • Users
  • Implementers
relevant players external
Relevant players - external
  • Employees (15yrs-65yrs)
  • Employers (public and private)
  • Current WAO-population
  • UWV, assurance companies and companies aimed at reintegration
  • Organizations for employees
  • Organizations for employers
don t overlook the internal players
Don’t overlook the internal players
  • You might need them, in different phases of your communication plan
  • They can be ambassadors
  • Endorsing your message
relevant players internal
Relevant players - internal
  • Relevant civil servants ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (policy, press and public information service)
  • Relevant civil servants ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (policy, press and public information service)
analyze the communication elements
Analyze the communication elements
  • How big is the knowledge gap?
  • How big is the attitude gap?
  • How big is the behavior gap?
  • Are the target groups identifiable?
  • Is there a ‘blank sheet’ or are there relevant points to be taken into account?
conclusions for communication
Conclusions for communication
  • What’s the task at hand for communication?
conclusions for communication1
Conclusions for communication
  • A complicated message with serious consequences
  • The message isn’t all new, but it’s tougher/stricter
  • Diverse and large target groups
  • Ambitious goals combined with a relatively small (media-)budget
slide43
Case

Arjan Hoeffnagel

Ministry of Finance

Tax and Customs Administration

group assignment what s the communication challenge
Group assignment

What’s the communication challenge?

assignment
Assignment
  • Form groups
  • Read the handout and discuss it with your group
  • Prepare a short presentation (10 minutes), answering the questions on the handout
  • Include the reasoning behind your answers
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