Communicating digital – what is the role of comms?

Woman using tablet for digital communications

Written by Victoria Ford, Managing Director, Perago and Chair of Digital Leaders Wales

What is the role of comms people in digital transformation? As a profession are we ready to support the cultural and behavioural change that’s needed for organisations to thrive in the digital world we live in?


The terms digital and IT are often used interchangeably, but digital transformation is so much more than just technology. It’s designing services around the needs of your users, it’s creating an organisation with the culture and skills for change to succeed. It’s about people.

Now we’re talking about people, about culture and about users.  We’re talking about preparing organisations and users to thrive in a digital world.


This week I joined a meeting of the Community of Practice for Communicating Digital set up by the newly created Centre for Digital Public Services.  It’s a group brought together to share good practice, provide support and work collaboratively.  It’s one of those places where the conversations are happening. We were joined by Adam Palmer from Dwr Cymru Welsh Water and Ross Gregory, my colleague from Perago.  The idea was to bring in two agile delivery managers to give their experience of working with comms teams. Rather than comms people talking to comms people in a bubble we were given the perspective of those directly involved in delivering digital change.


  • An effective delivery mechanism
  • Effective ways of working
  • Effective communications


  • Comms need to be part of the strategy discussion.  Include comms from the outset and give them a head start.  Delivery managers need to focus on outcomes and comms people can help bring clarity to those outcomes by being involved in the conversations where strategy is developed and tested.
  • Think about how to engage internally.  Adam and Ross gave an example of working with the comms team to create tangible prototypes of the change they were delivering that could be shared with colleagues to get feedback and bring the change to life.  That way colleagues started to feel part of the change that was happening and could engage as the changes progressed, providing support and helping embed new ways of working.
  • Trust the comms expertise in the room.  Allow comms to be proactive in delivering the solutions they know will work. Comms is a specialism so let them lead and let them deliver as part of your team. Adam admitted that in the past he had been guilty of asking comms teams to ‘send out an email’ or ‘publish a tweet’, but now he approaches it differently, talking about what he’s trying to achieve, the outcomes, and using expertise of the comms team to help him achieve it.



We’ve recently added a new training section that gives details of all our courses that really help people develop in this space. If you like this blog, you’d probably be interested in our ‘Change for Communicators’ course. You can find out more about our Change for Communicators programme here, read a bit more about agile ways of working in this blog post from Ross and look out for our next post that will be giving tips and techniques for working with digital teams.

Originally posted here

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