Postbureaucrat

Personal blogging by Steph Gray, founder of Helpful Digital and erstwhile bureaucrat

Featured posts

Doing the right thing right

May 29, 2014

Our office partners, Claremont, have a new motto: Do the right thing right. It’s annoying, because it’s probably what I’d choose if I were choosing a motto for what we do. More than kudos, more than money, more than publicity, the sense of craft in building a really good website or delivering some really useful training for…

Four more years

May 18, 2014

Four years ago, I left the Civil Service and started trading, rather than simply blogging, as Helpful Technology. This time last year, we’d become a team of three, and by this July, we’ll be six strong. A business that started out as some optimistic freelancing has become something that pays people’s mortgages. It’s all got…

On freelancing

April 1, 2014

The giant of local government social media at the coalface, Dan Slee, has gone freelance. I’m not sure why I’ve not written up Dan as one of my digital heroes here before, because he certainly is one. He’s the kind of innovator it’s hard to dismiss – someone with deep journalism and government experience, Zen-like…

What holds people back?

March 6, 2014

What holds people back from using digital tools and techniques at work? Is it that they need someone to tell them what Twitter is for? Or is it that they couldn’t tweet if they wanted to: the system would block it and their boss would look disapproving. Maybe the Press Office runs a tight ship…

Helpful Tips for 2013

December 1, 2013

After a little blip last year, I’m really pleased that we’re able to bring our series of advent tips for smart digital communicators  back for 2013. Helpful Technology was a freelance business when I first started the tips, but now we’ve grown to a gargantuan four people, so this year there are tips coming up…

Whither digital communication?

October 8, 2013

If GOV.UK is delivering the website, what’s the purpose of digital communications teams in government departments? That’s one of the interesting issues tackled by the Cabinet Office’s Digital Communication Capability Review, whose draft report is online for public comment for another couple of days. It’s a fine piece of work, led by some creative thinkers…

Fêting failure

September 12, 2013

I’ve always suspected there’s a damn sight less success around than people claim, and a damn sight more dumb luck and hidden failure brushed under the carpet. There’s a lovely piece by John Coventry on failure over on Wonkcomms today that really struck a chord with me: I’ve always thought that being on the frontline of communicating the work…

Keeping up with our clients

September 12, 2013

Our clients do some jolly interesting things online. Of course, I would say that, but they really do: everything from podcasting about alternatives to Trident to fighting dodgy landlords, arguing for involving the public in deciding how to deal with Syria to arguing the case for reorganising A&E departments. Like a lot of digital agencies,…