Publishing tips for government bodies going digital by design

Everyone knows that going ‘digital by design’ can cut printing costs massively, but communications teams should play to the format’s strengths and keep improving quality and accessibility, says the Department of Finance, and don’t print more than you have to.

Publishing standards make a huge difference to the success of relationships with external and internal stakeholders and how the public sees the institution of government itself. As the federal government continues to undergo a digital transformation, the Department of Finance has released a new good practice guide for public service communicators publishing either online or IRL.

The short document begins with a discussion of the “digital by design” principle, which subordinates printed materials to situations where they are needed to supplement digital publications, or if there is “unavoidable demand” from the target audience, and explains:

“Adopting a digital by design approach will require entities to challenge the way that information has historically been planned, developed, designed and delivered.

Adopting this approach will provide entities with an opportunity to realise significant savings.”

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