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Podcast: The Future of Government Communications & GovComms Festival with David Pembroke

Posted on November 10, 2020


david pembroke - GovLove

David Pembroke

David Pembroke
Founder & CEO
contentgroup
LinkedIn | Twitter


Government after shock. David Pembroke, Founder & CEO of contentgroup, joined the podcast to talk about how the COVID-19 pandemic is changing communications and digital tools in the public sector. He is the host of the upcoming GovComms Festival, which is an online event exploring how government communications is changing around the world. He talked about how COVID-19 has shown that communications needs to be a central, strategic function of government.

Host: Ben Kittelson

 

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Episode Transcript

Message

This is Brian Murphy, ELGL’s Data Manager. The ELGL Diversity Dashboard is the first national data collection on the gender, race and age of local government leadership. We’re excited to launch our third full year of data collection. This year, we’re expanding our collection to include all levels of local government positions, not just Chief Administrative Officers, in an effort to get a better understanding of diversity across a wider variety of local government positions. This year’s survey is looking for responses from local government leaders working in many different positions. We look forward to hearing from department heads, project managers, analysts and others as we hope to get data on the diversity of local government leadership. You can find more information on the survey and a link to respond at elgl.org/diversity-dashboard. We hope you’ll respond and follow the data as we work to make local government more diverse.

Ben Kittelson

Hey, y’all, this is GovLove, a podcast about local government brought to you by Engaging Local Government Leaders. I’m Ben Kittelson, consultant at the Novak Consulting Group and GovLove co-host. We’ve got a great episode for you today. We’re going to be talking about direct to citizen communications and the upcoming event to learn more about what’s going on around the world. Let me introduce today’s guest. David Pembroke is the founder and CEO of Contentgroup, which is a content marketing company that helps his clients tell their stories. I had to include this in the bio but he has served as an advisor to rugby teams and was the communications director for the Australian rugby union. He also worked as a journalist for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in his career. Contentgroup is organizing the GovComms Festival, which is going to take place Tuesday, November 17, 2020, as part of the government aftershocks global dialogue. The festival will be an opportunity to discuss the future of communications and features some ELGL members as speakers. So with that, David, thank you so much for joining us. Welcome to GovLove.

David Pembroke

Ben, thank you very much for inviting me on.

Ben Kittelson

Awesome. Now before we get to our kind of the meat of our conversation, can you, what’s the background on how’d you get involved in kind of the rugby communications, stuff like that? [Laughter] I saw that in your like LinkedIn profiles, like that’s a great like something that I had to ask you about. [Laughter]

David Pembroke

You know, I played the game when I was a young man. And then I retired. But I played at a reasonable level. And I went off into a career in journalism. And it just so happened that a coach of mine, when I was a younger player came to the city that I was in in Canberra to start a professional team called the Brumbies. And he invited me to get involved. I had a marketing background, I had a media background, because I was working as a journalist. And so I ended up being the Strategic Communications Director to the Brumbies. And then we went on to have a lot of success with that team. And I ended up being the Communications Director of the Australian rugby team that went to the World Cup with success in 1999. And it just so happens that another of the coaches I’ve been involved in, has had a great deal of success. And his name is Eddie Jones, and he is the current coach to the England team. So 20 years on, I, it’s my hobby actually, being a strategic advisor to professional rugby coaches.

Ben Kittelson

That’s awesome. That’s a great hobby. Like if you can pick one. [Laughter]

David Pembroke

It’s a lot of fun, there’s a lot of fun to build, and sustain high performing teams in sport. And using communication as a way to motivate players, to engage with fans, to engage with sponsors, to engage with administrators. Communication is really what it’s all about, in terms of performance that you need out of your sporting team. And it’s not too much different actually, when you’re trying to motivate your teams in in government communication. It’s the same sort of principles that help, help you to have success.

Ben Kittelson

Yeah, interesting. Cool. Well, that’s a good transition. So um, I gave a little bit of an introduction of the GovComms festival. But can you maybe tell our listeners a little more about that kind of maybe what led to the event and how you you got involved with it?

David Pembroke

Yeah, sure. So my company Contentgroup has been in the business of government communication for about 20 years. And it was basically when I left the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as a journalist back in 1997, and so the whole idea was that we knew that sometime into the future that everybody would have this ability to be able to create content, you know, useful, relevant, consistent, multimedia content. And that one day in the future that we’d all carry these supercomputers in our pockets, to enable us to receive and to send that sort of information. So we started down this path of trying to think about building capability in government to be able to become better communicators, to think more like journalists and to tell better stories. So it took a while for the technology to actually arrive. But um, in about 2016, sorry about 2015, we started a podcast called GovComms. And again, it was directed at precisely trying to tell the stories about better communication and help people to acquire those journalistic skills in their organizations. And so we’ve we’ve now probably got about 250 episodes of GovComms online. And it just so happened that this, when COVID hit, we thought that it would be interesting to go back to a number of guests to talk about what the change has been, obviously, you know, McKinsey research is telling us that in, you know, eight weeks, there was five years worth of digital acceleration, that adoption of digital technologies. So we were interested to know how that was affecting government communicators around the world and adjust. And when we were deciding to do that event, the OECD launched this thing called Government After Shock, which is a global dialogue about the impacts of COVID. And so the two things lined up very nicely. And so we spoke to the OECD about incorporating our event as part of their global dialogue, which they accepted. And we’ve now organized an event over the last, it’s only been probably two and a half months since we had the …. originally. And we’ve now landed on ideals of content, we have 165 speakers from 15 countries and your fine organization is presenting some of the speakers as well. And very grateful for that support. And if anyone would like to get involved just Google GovComms Festival, and it would be great to have you along. And obviously, it’s going for 24 hours, which is a challenge. We’re launching in Australia at 10am on Tuesday, the 17th. And then following the sun around the world. So we’ll be featured in, in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, Europe, the UK, then across to North America, and then hope through the Pacific Islands in New Zealand. So we’ll be running for 24 hours. So there’ll be lots of stuff there. And it really is just about thinking about how government can communicate more effectively, such that they can strengthen communities and improve the well being of citizens.

Ben Kittelson

Hmm. That’s fascinating. Um, and, and we had that kind of a similar approach when the pandemic first started to like, kind of reach out to folks and see how it’s impacting, like, local government operations. So we talked with some professionals in all sorts of different departments. And totally, like heard exactly what you just said, where, you know, it was probably years of innovation and years of digital advancement overnight, in some places. What were kind of maybe some of the like communications lessons that you heard from maybe your old guests or some of your contacts that like, I don’t know how things change with COVID-19. Or I’m just curious what you heard, when you were going back to something, some of those guests or some of your, your colleagues in the in the field across the world?

David Pembroke

Probably the main thing really was that government wasn’t particularly well prepared, though, that they are not able to move quickly, because as yet, that sort of I keep, I call it a journalistic capability. But it’s really that ability to be able to create multimedia rich, content quickly. And to be able to distribute it through multiple channels. Most government experiences around the world are very tech heavy, and they are quite slow. And obviously, in risk averse organizations, there are approval layers that need to go through. And now, some of that was dealt with during the crisis, because things had to happen a lot faster than they normally do. But then the muscle that’s needed really to be able to be able to produce that type of content at that sort of velocity is just not there at the moment, which is exactly why we’re looking at putting on this festival to start the conversation around the world about what does the future of government communications look like, at a local government level, at a state government level, at a federal level, and indeed a multilateral level, and our vision really for the future is that they’re, they’re going to be much more like newsrooms, you know, government organizations, because citizens are going to be expecting this direct relationship. They’re going to be expecting speed, they’re going to be expecting the same sort of experience when they that they get when they engage with a telecommunications company or a large bank or an airline. And so government really has to step up to the plate and build this capability in their organizations, if indeed they’re going to be able to, you know, build the trust that we’re going to have to put in place if we’re going to move forward to take advantage of, you know, some of the benefits that digital transformation promises.

Ben Kittelson

Um hmm. And it seems like that I mean, that obviously ties into the agenda, some of the speakers you have. Is there maybe a couple sessions that you could share that like kind of looks like the, give our listeners an idea of kind of what they would learn and maybe how they could apply that in their own organization?

David Pembroke

Yeah, well, there’s a lot of, quite a lot of skill based content. So that’s around, you know, writing better, running better meetings, understanding risk, and all the communication plays in risk management and project management. And I’m thinking is it so there’s a lot of skill based content. And there’s quite a few case studies as well, from some of the major governments around the world, around how they dealt with COVID 19. There’s programs on misinformation and disinformation, of the OECD, in fact, releasing a preview of some of the global research that they’ve done into government communication, which has revealed that again, government communication is not a highly valued function inside government. Generally, policy is where most of the power and the influence is, and communication is seen as a end of the line function as opposed to a strategic tool that governments can use. So there’s some great insights there. And then obviously, they’re the reason that we’re going around the world is really to try to, you know, taste the different experiences that different organizations have had, what some of those challenges are. And so there’s quite a bit of content around COVID-19, and how organizations have responded, but probably the big opportunity that I see, and, and really, the line that we’re starting to pursue is really this potential for communication inside government, to lead and to lead, inside the remit of digital transformation. I would argue that at the moment that a lot of digital transformation struggles, because it’s led in by Chief Information Officers, and ICT areas of government departments. People to date, inside digital transformation have seen it as a technology play, whereas I believe very firmly that it’s much more about people. And that’s where I think communications people can lead and be able to bring together the technology, the data, the behavioral science, the stakeholder engagement, with communications, with people and change inside these organizations to draw together a really transformational capability that can help digital transformation stick. And so that’s one of the theses that we see coming out of the back of COVID, that communications can go from an end of the line, almost trivial function to be a central driver of strategy. Because fundamentally, the world’s changed, you know, everybody who government needs to communicate with is connected. They’re all carrying supercomputers in their pocket, you know. Have a look at you know, just walk out on the street today and look up. So you know, there is so much engagement people have with their phones, and the government has this ability to be able to create useful, relevant, consistent content. So I think communications has the opportunity to lead. And that’s certainly part of what we’re discussing, through the the GovComms Festival on November the 17th.

Ben Kittelson

Yeah, it’s shifting from like a communications being nice to have to like being a core function, like your like a finance department or, or HR or any other kind of core, like enterprise function. That’s a really, that’s, that’s a, that’s an interesting point. Because I feel like the talking with the kind of the organizations we work with, you know, my day job, and then through ELGL, like, I feel like they’ve all realized that they didn’t have enough communication staff when this happened, and you know, they’ve got some people that probably feels like they’ve been working 24 hours a day since March. And you know, they’re they’re pulling people from all sorts of departments to kind of make it work. And so yeah, that’s a really interesting point that like, shifting to a more communications and strategic focus, rather than just relying on on technology or, or treating it as kind of a nice to have, yeah.

David Pembroke

Yeah, I think look, I think that is the big shift. I think, I think communications will go to the center and it’s, and it’s just been driven by context. It’s just been driven by this change, this this digital transformation where everybody is now online. And you know, you’ve got to turn up in these spaces and you have to turn up regularly and consistently, and you just don’t turn on a capability, it’s not something that you can just stand up overnight. It takes time, it takes effort. And this is where I think a lot of the journalists are going to end up, who are losing their jobs, you know, as technology, again, has destroyed the business models of traditional media organizations in newspaper, radio, in free to air television, and increasingly, you know, pay television. A lot of those people who’ve got those skills will end up I think, working in government, because that’s where the need is going to be. And the other thing I think, is we’re going to see government play a far greater role in the lives of the community than that, then we have, you know, probably since the end of the Second World War. So government is going to be there got, you know, they’re going to be, there’s going to be a much greater need for government to be in touch with citizens, to be transparent, and to be authentic, to be open, to explain to citizens around the world, just exactly what is going on. So yeah, it’s a it’s a big opportunity. And it’s certainly one that we’re very focused on at the GovComms Festival, is to try to start the conversations about what this new capability looks like. And to really run out this thesis about, you know, taking it from an end of the line function to a central core, strategic, enabling function. And, and look, the demands, as you mentioned before, is only going to become more and more and more, and we’re Yseeing it, in you know, elected officials. You know, previously what they would look for was a media release, and perhaps talking points from their communications area. Well, now they want the media release, the talking points, the video, the graphic, you know, the media tiles, [laughter] yes, they’re ordering out all sorts of content and, and government organizations are just not fit for purpose at the moment. And that’s the journey that we’re on, you know, we’re at the very beginning of that journey now. And certainly, it’s something that we saw 20 years ago, but now, now, it’s great to see that this is really a great opportunity. And, and I think the great benefit is, if we do get this right, um you know, that ability to build trust through creating useful, relevant, consistent content, and to be transparent, and authentic, hopefully, that’ll help so you know, heal some of the damage that is being done to the reputation of government around the world. And we’ll start to see that trust rebuild, and and hopefully we can get better at solving problems of citizens and creating more value in our communities.

Ben Kittelson

Yeah. Well, as we’ve been talking, like, it seems like you’ve hit some themes that I know I’ve taken away from the COVID pandemic in, you know, in this country. Are there things that you’ve seen, as you’ve worked with, you know, speakers or people across the world that like, I guess, this is the pandemic is interesting, and one aspect that like we’re all experiencing at the same time, like I don’t, no matter where you are, and so like, I’m just curious, are there are there themes that you’re seeing kind of as you go country to country that like, hey, this is an issue in communications, you know, in Australia, in Asia, and Europe and America? Like, are there things like, like, hey, this, and I assume that’s part of what’s informing your content. But I don’t know if there’s a couple that you want to highlight.

David Pembroke

Yeah, well, this is, and that’s we will actually start the the conversation, well the festival with a report from the OECD in Paris, which is the research that they’ve done recently into Government Communications around the world. And what it does, is actually just confirm some earlier research that was done by the global advertising agency, WPP. And essentially, it just confirmed the same, the same themes, and they are, one, that government communication is under appreciated, and under resourced, and under capability, as we just discussed. There is almost a complete absence of strategy, which is underpinning the way that we communicate. So it’s all reactive. No one’s thinking about that the stories that they’re trying to tell and the way that they’re trying to tell them and understanding that if you’re going to secure a share of someone’s time and attention, which is their most valuable asset, that you have to give out, you have to put the citizen at the center of your content, and think about their point of view and their mindsets. So is it you’re delivering value. So there’s a complete absence of strategy. Most government communication is one way. So we we talk, but we don’t listen particularly well. We actually do have a quite a number of sessions, about the importance of listening. And so that’s again a key focus of the GovComms Festival, is to try to get us to understand, particularly in this day and age of, you know, data abundance, where we, through, you know, zero party sources, first party data, second third party data, there’s so much data that we can now get. And again, as we move into the future is, you know, artificial intelligence, machine learning, 5G technologies, sensors, all of these other things just create more and more and more data. You know, we have to start to think about the way that we organize our communications team, such that we are drawing all of that data together to give us the insights that help them create better content, but also help us to better serve our elected leaders so that we can let them know, you know, what people are thinking about their, you know, the policies or the programs, you know, the regulations that they’re putting in place. So, that’s, they’re probably the three main things that I would say, are fairly typical around the world. And the final thing, obviously, is capability is it, there’s just not the sophisticated capability to deal with this, of rapidly evolving digital landscape, that we just don’t, the skills are just not there as well. So there’s going to be a huge opportunity, you know, to build government capability in the years to come.

Ben Kittelson

Yeah, definitely. And kind of hit on some you said earlier that, we I know, we’ve seen that in our ELGL members that some communications folks are coming from, you know, the meet the, the media world, the other, they’re coming from local newspapers or, you know, TV channels, or whatever it is. So, that’s interesting that you said, though, that, like, government doesn’t quite have the capability. It’s kind of struggling to break through. You know, in some ways, local media is facing that same challenge of like, how do you how do you, or maybe, maybe the, maybe the correct term is traditional media, rather than just local, but, you know, learning this new digital age, and all the tools that are out there and figure out the best way to connect with people is also seems like something that newspapers and you know, TV stations are trying to figure out as well. Is there kind of, are there lessons out there that like, I mean, obviously, there will be sessions on that at the festival. But have you seen like, you know, maybe some, you can point to some places that are doing it, well, then, you know, our listeners can can go look at.

David Pembroke

Yeah. Well, look, I think there are there are pockets of of best practice around the world. And I’d encourage people to go and have a look at the UK Government, government communication service, the GCS. They are a part in the festival, and have been leading the world in terms of, you know, developing a more sophisticated capability and thinking about the profession and thinking about the skills and thinking about different frameworks, evidence based frameworks that need to be in place. So I encourage people to go to gcs.co.uk that’s probably one of the best places to to get some resources. But there are also some great examples, you know, in the United States. The City of Gilbert in in Arizona, they’ve taken a Donna Berkman, I think she is also a member of the ELGL. And she used to be a producer on MTV in New York, but then she went home to Gilbert. And she basically took took back to Gilbert, her television production skills. And she’s turned that city into a, basically a media company. And they do an enormous amount of content. And so I encourage people to go and have a look at what they do. I think Donna and her team won an award at the Bloomberg cities this year. So again, I’d encourage people to go and have a look at them. And I did look with interest the other day that in Detroit, they may now have a Chief Storyteller, which is going to be a role that cities around the world will start to put in place. And I think again, it’s the thing I like about the journalistic cohort that is moving into government communication is they’re sort of grounded and steeped in the ethics of journalism. And so I think that that will help not only with the quality of storytelling, but it’ll it’ll help that governments will probably be a little bit more open and transparent, because I think in this day and age, spin, doesn’t work. You know, I think to build trust, you need to be open with people, you need to let them know that, you know, what are the challenges, but what are the opportunities and so I think that’s where that journalism cohort i think is going to make a real impact. But yeah, you know there are some people doing great things around the world. And obviously, people can come to contentgroup.com.au. We’ve got loads of content, podcasts, blogs, all sorts of things. But, you know, we share a lot of experiences from people around the world who we think are doing it well. But again, we’re at the very, very early stages of this move. And as I say, I think digital transformation is where we can really make that pivot. And where communications can go from a end of the line, trivial function, as I mentioned before, to that central driving, you know, strategic enabling function that we need it to be.

Ben Kittelson

Mm hmm. Yeah. You mentioned a couple of folks that are, have been involved with ELGL. And I think we had Aaron Foley, who was the Detroit’s Chief Storyteller on the podcast a couple years ago now. So those are definitely some good lessons for or some some good examples for folks to check out. And one thing I’m gonna make sure to ask about, just because I’m curious, and it looks like an interesting umbrella for you guys to be up under, the the government aftershock? What What is that kind of organization event? Like, is that just talking about kind of the after effects of COVID more generally, and then, you know, GovComms Festival is the communications piece of that?

David Pembroke

Yeah. So the Government After Shock is an initiative of the OECDs innovation unit. And so essentially, what they they looked at was, obviously, there’s been this incredible pressure and transformation in the way governments have delivered delivered services and programs and how they’ve made regulatory change how they’ve managed policy development in, you know, this massive stress that’s being brought onto the system by the pandemic, and this massive change that, you know, coincided with obviously, these, you know, digital capability that was, you know, because change was already coming, you know, even before the pandemic, but it was, as you say that before the bat, this acceleration trend that took place. So, what the people at the OECD decided to do was to start this thing called the Government After Shock global dialogue. And essentially, what it is, is, it’s two days. On the 17th there are, I think about maybe 25, or 30, different conferences, or webinars or meetings or festivals like ours from all around the world, looking at all sorts of different topics. So it’s not just communication, it’s all sorts of things, from policy development, from human centered design to all sorts of things, and basically looking at through the lens of how has COVID changed? Three questions that they’re asking people is, you know, what have you learnt as a result of COVID? What are you going to stop doing as a result of COVID? And then what is your plan into the future? So there are three questions that people have got to answer as they examine the different government administration. And then on the the second day, there is a plenary session where, you know, the ….. will gather with a lot of the insights from day one, and number of senior politicians in Europe, are going to be involved in this plenary session, which is really then going to examine the outputs of day one, and then come together and start to think about what are some of the key takeaways that the OECD can then share with their member countries. So is it again, performance in practice across all areas of government administration can improve.

Ben Kittelson

Very cool. Very cool, awesome.

David Pembroke

Yeah, it’s not a bad idea. It is like a pretty good idea because they, you know, they well, it’s actually, because what they did was offer the opportunity to people to put something in place. And people like us, we’re like, oh, okay, we’re actually going to do something like this. So were going to do it, and so the …..has gone out to our community, and said, Hey, who wants to come? You know, this is an opportunity. This is an idea, do you want to get involved? And the Government Communications community from around the world from 15 countries have come back with 165 speakers and 80 hours of content. So you know, we’re producing a little bit of it. ……all of it. But some, actually one of the one of the parts that that may be of interest to your audience is this notion of communications becoming leaders. We’ve got the leadership series as part of the festival as well, and it’s featuring leadership, lessons from sport and high performance sport. So we’ve got three interviews. The first is with Eddie Jones, who I mentioned before I’ve worked with for a long time in a rugby union, and he’s the current coach of the England team who’ve just won the big tournament, recently in Europe called the Six Nations. And so he shares his experience about how to build and sustain high performing teams. And we have Paul Thompson, who is a, he’s won five Gold Medals at the last six Olympics with different rowing teams, whether it’s Australia or had enormous success in Great Britain with the the women’s rowing teams, so he’s coming on to share his experience. But from the United States, we have Donnie Nelson, who is the general manager and president of the Dallas Mavericks. And so he is going to share his experiences about how do you build and sustain high performing teams. Because as I mentioned a few times now, this is where we see that the the capability in government communication areas has to develop that we have to become leaders. And we have to build not ….teams, but we have to work with these adjacent capabilities so that we can join up and build and lead digital transformation.

Ben Kittelson

Yeah, oh, yeah. And that’s something we’ve seen, you know, in ELGL, is that we, I mean, one of my one of our co founders Kent Wyatt, likes saying this all the time that he thinks the next generation of like city managers and city leaders are going to come from the communications field. And, and I think that’s, that’s very true, like, what a great skill set to have going into a leadership position of, you know, being able to talk to the public, being able to be reactive, and, you know, communicate clearly and consistently, and….

David Pembroke

Yeah. You don’t have to be, you know, I remember a few years ago, when this whole idea about digital transformation started, and people were saying, Oh, you know, you’re gonna have to learn how to code. Like, not like, I would be the last person on earth, who would be able to code….. And so it freaked me out. I was like, Am I seriously? If I’m going to stay relevant, am I going to have to learn how to code. Now, I don’t have to learn a code, but I do have to learn how to get to know someone who can code, get to be able to communicate with them to understand what in fact, I need them to do. And yeah, you know, that it’s that generalist that I think communicators can bring to the table. And I tend to agree with you, I think, and it’s not just going to be in ….positions, I think it’s going to be in private sector organizations. Because, you know, traditionally, you know, public companies have been led by people who have, you know, had finance backgrounds or accounting backgrounds, and technology backgrounds. Well, I think the next generation is going to be now that the technology set, now that the, you know, the, the ubiquity of connectivity is set and is going to only become more, you know, we’re only going to become more connected, communications is going to become so central to a performance in a private sector company, or sporting team, or or government agency. So I tend to agree that, you know, we’re ……the age of communicator. And again, what we’re focused on in the GovComms festival is to try to start these conversations to get people to think you know, that they do have a role to play in leadership, and not just be the, you know, the …..function that’s, that’s engaged once, you know, the big boys sitting at the top table have decided what’s going to go on.

Ben Kittelson

Yeah. Awesome. Well, anything else you want to share with our listeners before we kind of sign off, and we’ll make sure to link to the information about the GovComms Festival and kind of how to sign up. And if I remember reading correctly, it’s it’s free for the first 1500 attendees and then after that it’s like, $7, right?

David Pembroke

Yeah, we’ve sort of, we decided that, you know, we just want to make this as accessible as possible. So Contentgroup, my, my company is underwriting the whole thing. But that’s been good, because we’ve got so much so many generous contributions. Just one more actually contribution that I would like to highlight before I go, one of our partners here in Australia is Griffith University, and the social marketing team at Griffith University. And when we said to them, would you like to get involved? They said, yeah, sure. So. But then we said, we’ve now changed our minds, and we haven’t changed our minds. But we’ve now decided that we want to actually go for 24 hours. So we want to fly the sun and go around the world. And so they’ve matched us. And so the education program that runs to 24 hours as well. So we’re going to have some of the leading educators in social marketing from around the world, educating people during this time as well. So, you know, there’s going to be so much value that’s provided not only by our speakers and our case studies, and, you know, the other presentations that are going to be taking place in the, on the main stage and in the breakout sessions, but there’s also going to be these incredible, 24 hours worth of education that’s available to people as well. So, look all I’d really like to do is is and also thank very much ELGL, a great example of the sort of enthusiasm that we’ve had. I spoke to Kirsten Wyatt a couple of weeks ago, and when I was pitching the idea to her, and I was like, I think I was about 15 seconds into my pitch when she said, I love it, we’re in. It was, she was straight on it, which I thought was fantastic. And just, we had great support from Shana Haley in from the City of Plano in Texas as well, she was the one who introduced us to ELGL. So, you know, we’ve just had that wonderful support from ELGL to get involved. So we’re going to feature some of your great members during the GovComms Festival. But really to everybody else, just jump online. We haven’t hit the 1500 mark yet. We’re getting close to around about 1000. But we certainly expect over this coming week that we’ll start to see floods of subscriptions. So jump in now and get involved and learn, you know, and start to really think about, you know, how am I going to become a leader? How am I going to think about how am I going to, you know, start moving forward, my, my city or county, you know, how am I going to get, you know, people to understand the importance and the power of communication now that everybody who we need to reach, influence and engage, it’s now connected, and those ….sitting in their pockets or their purses. So the challenge now is for us to tell great stories so that we can activate those connections in order to, you know, help strengthen communities and improve the well being of citizens. But yeah, I just hope everyone jumps on. And, and the other thing is probably just a bit of a preview as well as it after the GovComms festival or during the GovComms festival, we are actually going to launch the GovComms Institute. And so we kind of continue the conversation over the next 364 days until we do the GovComms Festival again next year. So we certainly look to you know, continue to partner with ELGL as we, as we work through this, you know, maturing of the government communication function.

Ben Kittelson

Very cool. Very cool. Awesome. So, all our listeners, you should go to the link and sign up. So we we do David have a traditional last question on GovLove. So as our you know, our as your if you could be the GovLove DJ, and you had to pick the exit music for this episode to kind of send our listeners off to to go sign up for the GovComm Festival, what song would you pick?

David Pembroke

Oh Gosh! How about we go for Thunder Road, Bruce Springsteen.

Ben Kittelson

Perfect. Awesome. We’ll get that queued up. And that that ends our episode for today. I want to thank you, Mr. Pembroke, for coming on and talk with me. Really appreciate you taking the time and sharing with our listeners about the this great opportunity.

David Pembroke

Ben, thank you very much. And thanks to Kirsten and the team at ELGL. And jump on out jump on right now. Join up to the GovComms Festival and we’ll see you online on November the 17th.

Ben Kittelson

Awesome. Awesome. And GovLove is brought to you by ELGL. You can just go online at elgl.org/govlove or on Twitter at @govlovepodcasts. The best way to support GovLove is by joining ELGL. Membership is just $40 for an individual or $20 per student. Subscribe to GovLove on your favorite podcast app. If you’re already subscribed, go tell a friend or colleague about this podcast. Help us spread the word that GovLove is the go to place for local government stories. With that, thank you for listening. This has been GovLove, a podcast about local government.


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