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June 2020 HGB Meeting – Agenda item 6

Published: 3 July 2020

Agenda item 6 - Communications update

Report Author: Patsy Dell, Hertfordshire Growth Board Lucy Gravatt, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership

1. Purpose of Report 

At the last meeting, we reported that all communications input to this workstream had been diverted to Covid-19 and therefore it had not been possible to complete the work to the original timeline. This report updates on progress since April 2020 to get the Growth Board branding and website presence established.

2. Update on Growth Board Communications and Branding work

Since the last meeting and particularly over the past three weeks, work on branding/place narrative has been reviewed in the light of  Covid-19 and new actions identified allowing this workstream to progress with pace. As Leaders will recall from the last meeting, launch of the Hertfordshire More for Life branding is on hold temporarily but interim branding is still needed to enable website presence and other work requiring a visual identity for the Growth Board to proceed.

A new visual identity has now been created for Hertfordshire Growth Board but also designed to be complementary to and support, at a date to be agreed, the roll-out of the More for Life campaign messaging. This branding can be deployed across all brand touchpoints including internal and external communications and social media.  Leaders will see a short presentation of the new identity at the HGB meeting.

This new visual identity will be available for use after the HGB on 2 June 2020 and will be used on the HGB microsite and in new HGB branding guidelines to be shared with all HGB member comms leads across the Hertfordshire partners.

The domain name  has been purchased and the microsite is currently in development. Subject to final hosting arrangements being confirmed, it is expected to be fully operational by July 2020. In the interim, HGB Board Papers will be published on the Hertfordshire County Council site. A new Twitter handle has also been created @hertsgoodgrowth.

We are pleased to report that following interview Lucy Gravatt will shortly be taking up a 12-month secondment (two days a week) as communications lead for the Growth Board work.

With the addition of dedicated resources, an HGB communications and engagement strategy can be completed once the initial branding and microsite work are fully implemented. Additional comms resources can also be deployed to ensure key HGB milestones are communicated.

3. Activities April-May 2020

Table 1 provides an update on the key operational activities identified in the last report and in section 3 a roll forward to July 2020. All milestones and work are being kept under review.

Table 1: Operational Communications activities – April to May 2020

Investigation of the benefits of hosting a specific briefing session at Westminster for Hertfordshire MPs

Original Milestone: Under review

Completed/Comments: The Trailblazer for Growth event at the House of Commons on 26 March 2020 has been re-scheduled for 5 November 2020.

Briefings for key public sector and business partners to be prepared, agreed and circulated. Need for any further formal stakeholder engagement events on top of this to be identified.

Original Milestone: Under review

Completed/Comments: This forms part of the place-branding narrative and will be a key strand of the HGB Communications & Engagement Strategy

Development of a bespoke HGB communication strategy, joint media communication protocols and approach.

Original Milestone: Under review

Completed/Comments: This work was not progressed due to COVID-19. Now that a dedicated communications resource has been secured, this can now be developed once the branding and microsite work is fully underway.

Creation of a website presence for the Growth Board

Original Milestone: The current commitment to publish approved HGB minutes and agenda papers would require capability for publication to be in place from the June 2020 HGB meeting.

Completed/Comments: The microsite is being developed and is expected to be fully operational by July, subject to hosting arrangements being confirmed. As an interim measure, Hertfordshire papers will be published on the Hertfordshire County Council site after this Board Meeting.

HGB place narrative and boilerplate pieces to be signed off by HGB Comms Group leads

Original Milestone: 2 June 2020

Completed/Comments: This has been completed but needs to be re-evaluated in light of COVID-19 and revised place narrative report.

Complete centrally updated MP/researcher and district CEX/Leader lists

Original Milestone: 2 June 2020

Review of evidence gathering questionnaire

Original Milestone: 2 June 2020

Completed/Comments: Needs to be reviewed in light of COVID- 19.

Microsite/branding and asset development update

Original Milestone: 2 June 2020

Completed/Comments: Completed once hosting queries finalised

Comms lead briefing session on how to deploy HGB messaging to be scheduled as part of training programme

Original Milestone: Under Review

Completed/Comments: The training programme has been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19.  No future date has yet been set but should be aligned with the go-live date for the microsite and deployment of HGB branding guidelines.


4. Next Steps – June-July

Commence roll out of HGB branding on internal and external print, partner and digital communications
Mid-June 2020

Circulate revised HGB narrative and boilerplate to HGB Comms Workstream for sign-off
Mid-June 2020

Collate all HGB narrative; news archives, board papers, video assets; partner profiles/related projects to populate HGB microsite ahead of go-live date.
Mid-June 2020

HGB Microsite user testing
End June 2020

HGB Microsite preview
9 July 2020

HGB Microsite go-live date
10 July 2020

Comms lead briefing sessions on how to deploy HGB branding guidelines
10 July 2020

Establish dates and format for series of virtual roundtable/stakeholder HGB webinars
10 July 2020

HGB Communications & Engagement Strategy
Mid/end July 2020

5. Recommendations

Leaders are asked to:

  • Note the progress and reasons for the amended milestones and give any feedback on progress and next steps, and
  • Give any feedback on the new visual identity and HGB branding presentation.