Communications and marketing strategy Our communications and marketing strategy defines how we communicate and engage with all our audiences. The people of Essex, our businesses, our partners, our communities and the local organisations within them are at the heart of everything we do. Our role is to engage with all these audiences, communicating, informing, listening and inspiring, and helping to bring about positive change. We also help our staff understand how the work they do benefits Essex. Our objectives Our objectives are to: inform audiences, including residents and businesses, through easy to access and understand information influence behaviours across audiences through campaigning activity, with success measured against tangible targets engage communities to enable them to influence decision making, priorities and policies enhance our brand and reputation Our strategic approach Our strategic approach will be based on three pillars. Local priorities (Everyone’s Essex), national priorities and collaborative implementation. Whilst we will pursue local priorities, we will also seek to influence UK Government through our public affairs strategy. We will collaborate with public and private sector partners in communications and marketing activity. Local priorities Our local priorities are driven by Everyone’s Essex and our Organisation plan 2021 to 2022. To aid effective communication, activity will be grouped under five themes: environment health and wellbeing economy family community Detailed activity programmes for each theme will be developed for 2021/22 and beyond. Activity will be delivered by the: Communications and Marketing department wider communications and marketing network Essex Communications Group (comprised of local authorities, the NHS and blue light services) Employee communications will underpin all activity. National priorities Our communications and marketing and public affairs strategies must link with national priorities. In the short to medium term, to the post-pandemic recovery as well. Economic recovery from Covid-19 remains at the forefront of the government’s agenda and ours. Investment in infrastructure, business support and job retention/creation takes centre stage following the last budget. Shared areas of focus include: investment in jobs retention and upskilling supporting businesses and productivity transport and infrastructure investment education provision and the skills gap levelling up climate change and sustainability Collaborative implementation We will adopt collaborative approaches across our departments and the Essex Communications Group. We will leverage capacity within communities to share and amplifying messages, increasing engagement. We will improve our planning and coordination capabilities. We will develop cross-sector activity plans addressing shared objectives especially in the post-pandemic recovery. Co-creation will characterise our approach. Organisations will be able to brand content as their own, ensuring consistency of message and tone. We will be driven by data, and use a digitally-driven, targeted approaches to maximise engagement. Public affairs Our public affairs strategy seeks to engage UK Government on issues pertinent to Essex, with the ambition to influence policy. Thereby enhancing the reputation of the council and county. It will showcase innovative work streams, such as our climate action activity, to influence government policy. We will work with Essex’s MP on communications which support the links between local priorities and the national agenda.