Government floats £1.4m social-media analytics deal to identify ‘key influencers’ to support Covid messaging

Written by Sam Trendall on 10 September 2020 in News
News

Comms service looks for analytics to identify target audiences 

Credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

The Government Communication Services is seeking a social-media analytics firm to provide insights on “target audiences… [and] key influencers” for public information campaigns on coronavirus.

GCS, a government-wide professional body based run from the Cabinet Office, has a budget of £1.4m to spend on a contract of up to a year in length dedicated to “social media monitoring and analysis”. The comms agency would ideally like to work with a provider that could offer “access to a bespoke software platform” capable of performing analytics on social media content and discussions in a range of languages.

The deal will, GCS hopes, provide insights on the impact and efficacy of existing government information campaigns, as well as helping to guide the rollout on future messages. This will be achieved through establishing the identity the audience that needs to be reached and the individuals and outlets whose voices are most influential therein.

“The Government Communication Service… is supporting HMG’s response to the Covid-19 crisis through gathering social media insights to build strategic communications strategies and public information campaigns,” GCS said. “The work involved with this brief will enable the Cabinet Office to fulfil its mandate with enhanced insight, responsiveness and impact-measurement capabilities.”


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The chosen supplier will be tasked with providing an analytics tool that offers “in-depth target-audience analysis for a range of topics”.

“This will involve the identification of the target audience in certain countries and their networks, the identification of key influencers or influential media that they engage with, monitoring of the conversation based on certain themes and topics, as aligned to the UK strategy,” GCS said. “Conversation should be monitored in native language as well as English, to ensure a full range of analysis.”

Bids for the contract are open until midnight on 18 September, after which up GDS expects to assess up to three potential suppliers. The comms unit hopes to begin working the chosen firm by the end of next month.

The delivery of communications throughout government is currently being restructured to become significantly more centralised. 

Over 4,000 comms professionals currently work across more than 20 individual departments – each of which, for the most part, has autonomy over its own communications output.

But it has been reported that departments are to be limited to in-house teams of no more than 30, with others moving to form part of enlarged central function which will assume oversight of all departmental output. Four new directors general, based in the Cabinet Office, are to be hired to collectively manage comms across Whitehall.

The reshuffle is also likely to lead to reduction in the overall headcount of communications professionals.

 

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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