Westco - Blog Strategic communication


The rise of digital platforms, the spread of misinformation, and the borderless nature of information thus demand a more strategic approach to international communication.

The ability to respond rapidly and effectively in collaboration with global partners has become paramount. The evolving global context demands a proactive approach to communication, ensuring that the UK takes the lead where it can make the most significant impact. This is a transformative moment for shaping narratives on the global stage and the Government Communication Service (GCS) has responded to the challenges by unveiling a groundbreaking new tool – PITCH.


The relevance of ‘Pitch’ across public sector communications

While ‘Pitch’ is designed to respond to international communication challenges, particularly when it comes to tackling state-sponsored disinformation, many of the principles can be applied more generally. The toolkit sets out the importance of working collaboratively and of being insight-led. It sets out the need for clear content strategy which uses trusted, authentic voices to tackle disinformation. So, let’s look at it in more detail…


Partners and allies

Partnerships are the foundational pillar of PITCH, which resonates strongly with Westco's collaborative ethos. It emphasises the importance of internal partners and aligning communication efforts with policy, diplomacy, and operational activities. 

The need for continuous monitoring and evaluation, facilitated by data dashboards, highlights the dynamic nature of strategic comms and the need for data-driven insights to ensure that campaigns remain dynamic, responsive, and impactful. Leveraging networks to deepen relationships with allies becomes crucial, promoting information sharing, best practices, and capability building. 



PITCH encourages building a rich understanding of target audiences through research and local knowledge. Recognising different contexts' economic, social, cultural, and political complexities is paramount. This insight forms the foundation for shaping communication strategies, tailoring messages, audience targeting, and timing.


Trusted voices

Building a network of trusted voices extends beyond traditional communication approaches. The dynamics of influence have changed in this digital age. PITCH advocates for a whole-of-society approach, collaborating with diverse voices to enhance credibility and reach. The toolkit recognises the changing landscape where influencers, celebrities, community leaders, and social media personalities often hold more sway than traditional journalists. Establishing alliances and communities around common goals becomes a key focus.


Compelling content 

The toolkit underscores the power of visuals and compelling stories, emphasising the need for striking visuals and credible narratives aligned with audience values. The importance of using a mix of traditional and digital channels, including gaming platforms, reflects an awareness of the evolving technological landscape and the need for innovation.


Honesty and integrity 

Honesty and integrity, the bedrock of trust, are values Westco holds dear. PITCH emphasises transparency and credibility as essential elements in effective communication. While there may be occasions when information statecraft involves discrete or covert activities, honesty is not just a moral imperative but a strategic advantage in building trust with audiences. 


The future of comms 

As the global information landscape evolves, tools like PITCH play a pivotal role in guiding strategic communication efforts. At Westco, we see this toolkit not only as a guide for seasoned communicators but also as an accessible entry point for those venturing into strategic comms. It empowers all of us as communicators to deliver impactful and resonant campaigns that shape perceptions, influence behaviours, and drive positive change on a global scale.


PITCH positions communication as a powerful instrument for influence, shaping perceptions, fostering cooperation, and maintaining a united front in a crowded information environment. And Alex Aiken (Executive Director, GCS) called for brave, bold, and confident communication. This aligns perfectly with the three pillars of Westco’s culture of trust and transparency: Agile, Brave, and Creative. 


The toolkit provides a systematic approach to shaping narratives, inspiring hope, and wielding influence for good in an ever-changing global landscape. We look forward to this opportunity to evolve our approach to communication planning, strategy, and implementation.


Access the full PITCH toolkit.


In an era of rapidly evolving (some might say devolving) global dynamics, effective communication has become more crucial than ever. The world faces increasing dangers and challenges, including systematic, well-resourced, industrial-scale disinformation campaigns.


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