COI launches unit to buy interactive design

The Central Office of Information is launching an interactive services unit today in a bid to strengthen the Government’s use of digital media in its communications.

It is anticipated that COI-rostered digital groups will be called on to help with projects over the coming months.

The new team, headed up by newly appointed director of interactive services Nick Jones, will integrate the existing digital media and transformational Government teams.

‘The creation and delivery of effective digital policy and digital services is a key output of the strategy. Bringing the policy and delivery teams will allow the design of more appropriate propositions that meet the digital standards and fulfill client wishes even more effectively,’ says Jones.

The interactive services unit plans to fully develop channels to deliver Cabinet Office minister Tom Watson’s Power of Information Agenda, which sets out the role of Web 2.0 in Government communication, in the form of blogs, forums and networking sites, such as Downing Street’s e-petitions.

‘Working with all of the Government departments on policy propositions and projects, we will be looking at things like issuing guidelines on the use of social networking and Web 2.0, to make more strategic use of it, how to promote and transact various messages,’ Jones says.

Jones, who will head up the 30-strong unit, explains that one of the key drivers to the creation of the team is to make Government more customer-centric, and will take his cue from the service design approach in his previous work with the Cabinet Office.

The COI’s digital media framework expires in 2010.

The COI’s annual report last year showed an increase in its annual digital media spend to £22.4m.

The centre, which works with Government departments and public bodies to produce information campaigns from healthcare to education, released figures represent an increase of 85.4 per cent in digital media expenditure.

The COI advises on, procures and provides communications across all media for clients in Government departments and agencies.

Its aim is to help Government organisations secure policy or public service objectives, while achieving communication effectiveness and value for money.

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