Content Strategy for the UK Government (plus special guest Kristina Halvorson)

Apr 19, 2012 · London, United Kingdom

We often hear about content strategy for corporations, but can the same principles apply to an organisation as large and complex as the UK Government? Inspired by Martha Lane Fox’s report on government websites, “Revolution Not Evolution”, the Government Digital Service was launched in August 2011 with the objective of centralising all UK government websites under a single website domain. Yes, they’re serious: every government department’s website will be replaced by single, citizen-centric, centralised government website. As content strategy projects go, this one is huge.

We’re excited to welcome three members of the Government Digital Service to present about what they’ve done so far, what they’ve learnt, and what’s next. And they want your feedback too, so you’ll have a chance to debate the issues during an interactive panel.

Graham Francis—From Tired to Wired: What I’ve Learned (So Far) from

Graham is a content strategist, and currently manages the Directgov website. In this presentation he’ll give an introduction to the government beta site, and talk about how the team achieved change, revised publishing processes, and embedded content specialists within multidisciplinary teams.

Sarah Richards—Content Strategy for the Beta Project

Sarah is Editorial lead for the government beta site In this presentation she’ll talk about the role of content strategy in the beta, covering editorial strategy, process flow, analytics, content design, and usabilty.

Paul Annett—Designing Tools and Transactions for

Paul is a web and UX Designer, and is currently Creative Lead for the Government Digital Service. In this presentation he’ll explain the approach the team uses to redesign interactions between citizens and the government—from working out your maternity pay entitlement to applying for a passport. Paul will take us through the design principles, and explain how they relate to content and transactions.

Special guest: Kristina Halvorson

Kristina is widely recognized as the industry’s leading advocate for content strategy. She’s CEO of Brain Traffic, author of Content Strategy for the Web (2nd edition just released), and founder of Confab, the Content Strategy Conference. She’s in town for the UX London conference, and she’ll join us for a question & answer session after the presentations. So get your questions ready!


  • 6:30pm Arrive for a free drink and a slice of pizza generously donated by Forward (our venue sponsor.)
  • 7:00pm Introduction
  • 7:10pm Graham Francis—From Tired to Wired: What I’ve Learned (So Far) from
  • 7:30pm Sarah Richards—Content Strategy for the Beta Project
  • 7:45pm Break
  • 8:05pm Paul Annett—Designing Tools and Transactions for
  • 8:25pm Kristina Halvorson Q&A
  • 8:50pm Interactive fishbowl panel
  • 9:15pm - 9:45pm Drinks and informal networking

Thanks to our sponsors

We’re delighted to have three fantastic sponsors supporting this event. Be sure to check them out.

Gather Content: Get website content from clients, painlessly (event sponsor)

GatherContent is a simple online tool that helps web practitioners manage the collection, organisation and delivery of web project content, without the headache.

It’s completely free whilst in public beta. Make sure you check it out at

Magus: the leader in the field of enterprise website governance and compliance (event sponsor)

Magus is recognised as the leader in the field of enterprise website governance and compliance. The Magus ActiveStandards™ website quality monitoring software platform is the only automated compliance solution to give content strategists complete visibility across all their web properties, actively monitoring web content against a comprehensive range of compliance standards including: SEO, accessibility, usability, site integrity and mobile web standards. ActiveStandards enables enterprises to maximise their website effectiveness and have complete trust and confidence in their web content wherever it is being used.

Forward: our venue sponsor

Forward, our event sponsor, are donating their beautiful auditorium (and fridge full of drinks!) for free. So in place of a venue hire fee, we'll make an equivalent donation to Forward Foundation, their charitable trust.

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