LGA and other musings
It’s already my third month at Public-i and I’m no longer the new kid on the block. In fact we’ve welcomed Kisoran, Tim and Sarah since I started not forgetting Debbie’s return after the birth of her daughter. With more due to start in the next few months Public-i definitely qualifies as a growing business. Why not look at our website to see what we’re looking for. Who knows? You could be working with us by my next blog post – or maybe you know somebody else who might be interested? Growth, especially rapid growth, brings its own set of challenges and we’re no different. Clarity of purpose and a focused vision are critical to meeting these challenges and Lewis’ recent blog post highlights how our product roadmap is closely aligned to the engagement strategy.
At the end of June I attended my first User Group session. A chance for the people who really matter to have their say. It was great to meet real customers and to hear first-hand about their Public-i experience. Naturally it was webcast so that those who were unable to attend could catch it at their convenience – a first for me. It took place in Leeds and it was attended by a lot of customers who might not have made it to London. This reinforced the merits of our northern office and our objective to populate it with Sales and Technical support to give our customers excellent service regardless of location. Leeds looked resplendent in the sunshine and reminded me of how far UK cities have progressed in my lifetime. Of course there are issues and more to do but sometimes we should just stop and appreciate what we have.
On to LGA; the big conference for the Local Government Association, held in Harrogate; another jewel in England’s crown of spa towns. For me it was an opportunity to witness up close the dynamic between Council Leaders and Chief Executives. One elected by the people to represent them, the other paid by the people to make their lives better. The success of this relationship is pivotal to the prosperity and wellbeing of the Council; especially if, after an election, the colour of the controlling party changes. The main themes seemed to be devolution and austerity (I’ve already learnt that any presentation now has to include the A word), two things high on the agenda for any local government body. This made the Public-i launch of its Pay As You Go (PAYG) webcasting service really timely. Everybody seems to understand the need for transparent democracy but the prospect of committing to a one, three or even five year programme is a real barrier to some councils. With PAYG there is the opportunity to try it out and only pay for the hours consumed. Very much like using a mobile telephone and very popular with lots of potential customers. The new A-V division was very busy and with our Programmes team finding lots of receptive ears about digital engagement it would be fair to describe this year’s LGA a real success.
Back to Brighton and the launch of Gather on NHS Citizen. If you haven’t looked at it, please do. Siobhan’s written a great blog post about it with some useful links. It’s a real opportunity for all citizens to have their say about the NHS; and, let’s face it, that’s something on which we all have an opinion!