In the context of a crisis of trust in politicians, government communication is becoming a critical issue both in the public and private sector. As is discussed in the book Government Communication. Cases and challenges (edited by Karen Sanders and María José Canel), communication in the public sector needs to import practices, concepts and principles from the corporate communication field in order to more strategically and efficiently reach and interact with citizens. The Spanish example enshrines a trend which is common to most European Union countries: a move towards assigning more relevance and importance to communication in terms of capacity (structures, resources and knowledge), despite the budget and staff cuts prompted by the 2008 economic crisis. This article uses the Spanish case to explore 10 main challenges for government communication as practised today.
Helping governments find a voice
María José Canel is professor of political communication at the University Complutense of Madrid, chair of the political communication division of ECREA (European Communication Research and Education Association) and co-chair of IAMCR (International Association for Media and Communication Research). She is also member of the advisory board of the Journal of Communication and of the International Encyclopedia of Communication. From 2000-2004, she was chief of the minister’s cabinet at the Spanish Ministry for Education, Culture and Sport.