Case Study 4


The client

This government innovation unit was set up to address technology challenges facing some of the most critical front-line public services. Established in 2017, its purpose is to deliver impact through a radically re-imagined delivery model and novel ways of working. It provides a highly effective means for collaboration between public and private sectors, with a large community of diverse, selected suppliers bringing industry capabilities to the development of solutions.

This unit serves customers from different government departments and public sector agencies, measuring success on the impact it delivers under demanding time pressures and in the most cost-effective ways.

The problem

The client needed to become more visible across the public sector and to effectively engage a complex range of stakeholders. While unique, it also needed to define its position within an ecosystem of innovation functions across government. Crucially, it had to demonstrate its capabilities and promote its successes in order to create a pipeline of new work and to justify ongoing investment.

The ability to achieve these goals was being seriously hampered by the incumbent communications agency’s failure to win the necessary trust from senior leadership, leading to an inability to deliver in any meaningful way. In addition, their traditional agency model and fixed retainer arrangement resulted in poor value for money.

The solution

Smart/tasking provided an on-demand Newsdesk MarComms service offering a breadth of capabilities, focusing on journalism-driven content, strategic messaging, branding, design, infographics and video production.

The on-demand aspect gave the client control over costs, consuming different elements of the service as demand arose, thus ensuring value by dispensing with the fixed retainer model.

What did smart/tasking do?

smart/tasking deployed a strategic communications lead backed by an experienced team with the necessary blend of skills who immediately addressed the most pressing problems with delivery of high-impact written content and design collateral.

A phased re-brand was rolled out to create a solid foundation for subsequent communications and to provide a powerful visual identity for stakeholder and customer engagements.

The Newsdesk communications service developed enduring, repeatable core communications assets to articulate a compelling strategic narrative while building out processes, templates, content and collateral to support day-to-day activities.

It developed and deployed a Communications Strategy that sets a path for increased pubic and stakeholder awareness.


The smart/tasking Newsdesk communications lead gained an early understanding of the client’s vision and ambitions, while being alert to the nuances and sensitivities of the environment in which they operated. A trusted relationship was quickly established with senior leadership that made possible a pro-active role in shaping the way the client organisation told its story.

As well as supporting the client’s leadership and core operational team, the smart/tasking service was consistently utilised to bring customer project communications to life and assist with stakeholder relations.

Initially engaged on a three-month trial basis, the Newsdesk communications team and capabilities have grown to meet new demands and has now been delivering a highly-regarded service for two years.

Following the successful foundational work, the smart/tasking Newsdesk communications service was tasked with achieving greater public visibility through the establishment of a GOV.UK presence and the organisation’s first steps onto the web and social media.

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