Budget Day<br />HM Government Digital Communications<br />
Before 2009 very little content was available online for the Budget beyond a lean, rather dry microsite on the Treasury co...
There were issues with hosting high demand budget documents on existing infrastructure and reaching a national audience ef...
Directgov had been producing some after the fact coverage of the Budget<br />in areas like tax, fuel duty, housing, benefi...
Directgov is funded for mass audience digital services and uses Akamai Edge servers<br />to deliver millions of page views...
Directgov was the primary host and provided links direct to major media owners, like the BBC.  <br />
Live Twitter coverage of the Chancellor’s speech was planned, with the speech itself given to Directgov prior to its deliv...
Maximising both government partnerships and the COI’s media relations, take up was good across government departments, loc...
The response was very positive and led to a greater focus for the next Budget. <br />In a 24 hour period several financial...
The total effort led to record figures for 24 hours with 1,192,382 visits across Directgov central and subsites. 153,264 o...
The same partnership was agreed and strengthened for the emergency Budget of June 2010. <br />The editorial offering in Di...
A faster, better looking, branded Twitter widget was built for national press websites.  Some titles took the feed but def...
The No 10 Downing Street website used the ‘Cover It Live’ app to create a feed of hand selected tweets from official accou...
Feedback was more positive than the first time with net promoters acting as keen advocates<br />With expected changes to t...
Directgov was the no.1 recipient of @replies on the #budget2010 hashtag<br />Despite the Indian Budget also dominating the...
 In 2011, the following year, further improvements were made. <br />More visual design, dynamic topic tabs, Facebook page ...
For the March 2011 Budget Day the newsroom received 5,000 (avg) visits an hour between 1-3pm. Over 24hrs there were 2,504,...
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Budget Day

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Digital communications for Budget Day 2009 - 2011. Product and editorial development in Directgov and HM Government.

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Budget Day

  1. 1. Budget Day<br />HM Government Digital Communications<br />
  2. 2. Before 2009 very little content was available online for the Budget beyond a lean, rather dry microsite on the Treasury corporate website. <br />The highly traditional department was extremely protective of its mandate and only dealt directly with major media owners. <br />It’s a very different story now.<br />
  3. 3. There were issues with hosting high demand budget documents on existing infrastructure and reaching a national audience effectively. <br />Engagement in social channels was non-existent. <br />HM Treasury was caught between its capability as a low resourced department and its ring fenced remit to deliver financial communications.<br />
  4. 4. Directgov had been producing some after the fact coverage of the Budget<br />in areas like tax, fuel duty, housing, benefits and pensions and savings.<br />Meanwhile high demand for the Budget report documents came close to crashing the Treasury website.<br />
  5. 5. Directgov is funded for mass audience digital services and uses Akamai Edge servers<br />to deliver millions of page views resiliently from the cloud.<br />I negotiated a partnership with HM Treasury to provide resilient infrastructure for<br />the December 2009 pre-budget report. The first time this had ever been done. <br />Following this proof of concept success I arranged a further deal where Directgov<br />would host the high value documents for the March 2010 Budget . <br />
  6. 6. Directgov was the primary host and provided links direct to major media owners, like the BBC. <br />
  7. 7. Live Twitter coverage of the Chancellor’s speech was planned, with the speech itself given to Directgov prior to its delivery in Parliament. I signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with the Treasury Communications team for this extraordinary first.<br />To increase the reach and range of the Chancellor’s message I created a syndicated <br />widget, which was made available for free.<br />
  8. 8. Maximising both government partnerships and the COI’s media relations, take up was good across government departments, local government, devolved assemblies and the national press. <br />
  9. 9. The response was very positive and led to a greater focus for the next Budget. <br />In a 24 hour period several financial organisations and professionals began following the twitter account. Referrals to the website went up, particularly the Money, Tax and Benefits section<br />
  10. 10. The total effort led to record figures for 24 hours with 1,192,382 visits across Directgov central and subsites. 153,264 of these specifically looking for Budget information.<br />
  11. 11. The same partnership was agreed and strengthened for the emergency Budget of June 2010. <br />The editorial offering in Directgov’s newsroom was enhanced further with a YouTube video of key points, a podcast in iTunes, a word cloud of the speech and an editorial digest. <br />Users could also follow the Budget announcements live on Directgov’s mobile website.<br />
  12. 12. A faster, better looking, branded Twitter widget was built for national press websites. Some titles took the feed but deferred to their own existing technology.<br />Take up included the Financial Times, the Guardian and the Metro along with many local news providers.<br />
  13. 13. The No 10 Downing Street website used the ‘Cover It Live’ app to create a feed of hand selected tweets from official accounts and individuals commenting on the Budget. <br />Directgov was the most featured account, with more appearances than even HM Treasury<br />
  14. 14. Feedback was more positive than the first time with net promoters acting as keen advocates<br />With expected changes to the Financial Services Authority and the Retail Distribution Review implementation drawing nearer, Budget Day alone drew hundreds of new followers to Directgov.<br />
  15. 15. Directgov was the no.1 recipient of @replies on the #budget2010 hashtag<br />Despite the Indian Budget also dominating the hashtag, the 9th most shared link was for Directgov content. <br />
  16. 16. In 2011, the following year, further improvements were made. <br />More visual design, dynamic topic tabs, Facebook page and a bespoke video player which made content more accessible through Closed Caption subtitles or British Sign Language.<br />
  17. 17. For the March 2011 Budget Day the newsroom received 5,000 (avg) visits an hour between 1-3pm. Over 24hrs there were 2,504,068 million page views compared to 2,794,163 for June 2010. <br />Visits to the central Directgov website went from 605,887 in 2009 to 786,539 in March 2010, 722,865 in June 2010 and 771,884 in March 2011. <br />From June 2010 Directgov syndicated Budget content through an API, causing a drop in visits to the website. This grew again in 2011 with developer driven visits to deeper content.<br />

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