Education Ambassador Eileen Curry reports on CIM Ireland's November event. 

"Adapt or Die" was the stark message at a recent Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) event, hosted by BT in Belfast on Digital Transformation.  Two stories were presented on two digital innovation projects that are helping Government in Northern Ireland to adapt to the radically changing needs and expectations of today's digital citizens.

The overriding message at the event was that Government communications need to adapt to the change and disruption brought about by the evolution of digital technology, or they will become obsolete. Government needs to compete for the attention of citizens.  It needs to use digital marketing tools and techniques to target individuals with the information and services that those individuals actually need.  It needs to move away from its more traditional broadcasting or push approach and adopting a more citizen-centric and two-way engagement approach. This communications approach will be driven by research and insights about the audiences, in terms of their specific needs, values and expectations as well as their perceived barriers and drivers. 

The following two digital transformation stories capture this citizen-centric, two-way engagement approach. They are both underpinned by collaboration and they both tell how they aim to trigger change in behaviour that will improve people's lives.

The MyNI Social Web Story

The Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs (DAERA) told their story of how they have been working under the expert guidance of the Digital Transformation Service (DTS) team in the Department of Finance to create an innovative social web platform. The platform is called MyNI, as it is citizen-centric and its aim is to target citizens with Government information and services that will help to improve people's lives.

This platform is now ready to test in a test environment, using two DAERA campaigns (food waste recycling and dairy farming) and a health campaign (Department of Health). All three campaigns are driven by the outcomes and indicators in the Programme for Government.

The beta test period will start later in December and will run for up to 6 months.  By the end of that period, evidence of how well the platform performed will have been compiled. Evidence will include levels and quality of engagement with the campaign content, feedback from users and how much they contributed to the Programme for Government outcomes or how much they helped improve people's lives.

A range of internal and external stakeholders have collaborated and been involved in this project. They have included the Executive Information Service, the Programme for Government team in The Executive Office, the UK Government Communication Service, all the Councils across Northern Ireland, the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), dairy farmers, dairy food processors, the Public Health Agency, Google, Facebook and Twitter.

In the summer next year, we'll share the results and findings of the beta test period and all being well, we'll be starting an exciting new chapter in the story.

The Online Licencing for Anglers Story

DAERA's other digital transformation story was that of creating an online angling licencing system for anglers in Northern Ireland.  As part of the digital transformation, this paper-based process went fully online in 2016. Anglers now receive a seven digit number instead of a paper licence or permit which can be checked at the river side via a mobile application, even when offline. The transformation has seen many benefits including improved customer service, increased availability, reduce footfall to public offices, reduced commission and an overall increase in income.

This story continues to grow from strength to strength.

Caption : 

Delegates quiz the presenters about their digital transformation projects at a recent Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) event in BT Tower.

The captions are:

Photocaption :Left to Right:

Paul Wickens, Chief Executive of the Department of Finance Enterprise Shared Services.

Carol Magill, CIM Regional Network Manager

Mark Gibson, Business Development Director, BT