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GOV.UK – what we’re working on: September 2017

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Digital services

Numbers are not everything

“Numbers are not everything – your audience is not made of analytics but made with real people who will react and take actions,” said Agnieszka Murdoch‏ @agamurdoch, Head of Editorial at @gdsteam.


Going to #GovBlogCamp (a cross-government training day for blog writers) made me think again about why I am writing this blog.

It started with the objective of sharing our most relevant website updates with customers, for example, to tell conveyancers about updates to a portal guide that helps them do their conveyancing online.

I also try to highlight things I’ve learned about land registration that can be useful to anyone, such as which form to use when you change your name (form AP1) or when a property owner dies (form DJP).

One of the actions I took from #GovBlogCamp is to think more about how to use the OASIS model (PDF), a guide to campaign planning from the Government Communication Service.

Defra digital and Department for Work and Pensions

A presentation from Defra digital made me think about our blog headlines and how we need to make them more catchy and attention-grabbing. For example they used: "This blog post has not been approved' (Defra digital). Watch this space, I’m going to brainstorm this with my colleagues!

Screen showing a message about blog writing: 'Be an authentic voice.'
Slide by Stefan Janusz from @DefraData


The Department for Work and Pensions told the story of how they’re using their blog as part of their engagement strategy to build a digital culture within their organisation. Like them, I like to think that someone, somewhere found my words useful. I know they have when people from other organisations contact me because of something they read on my blog.

Selfie in front of #GovBlogCamp programme for the day

What I hadn’t realised when I started writing was that my HM Land Registry colleagues would read it too, and contact me with suggestions for website improvements, triggered by something in my blog. One of these suggestions led to the wording on a form being amended, which meant we receive fewer phone calls.

According to Google Analytics, an average of 350 people per month have been reading my blog for the past six months. I get at least one phone call or email about my blog per month and I know that one of my blog posts was useful to a department that is dropping the .gsi element from their email address.

Top tips about blogging

So if you’re not sure about blogging, give it a try, but remember to:

  • make sure it fits into your communication strategy;
  • be bold and make your voice heard;
  • share your blog and all blog posts equally;
  • not use the blog as a substitute for other content types, like a press release to promote an event; and
  • make your blog accurate, relevant, credibility and zingy!


"What makes a good blog is accuracy, relevancy, credibility and zinginess," said @Lucyrushi Creative writer at @gdsteam.

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