Substance vs style: the magic is in the balance

Nowadays, the public sector is faced with an interesting paradox. Rich, valuable and worthy
ideas and initiatives don’t enjoy enough buy-in and visibility. Comparatively, non-substantial
but shiny, well-presented thoughts are the first ones to secure resources, buy-in and

The core values

support. Professionals in all fields: doctors, engineers, nurses, accountants and legal
advisors have conviction in their ideas, yet they often put them together in presentations
that may only be of interest to themselves or a group of like-minded people. The world
outside of the public sector is full of beautifully made presentations, story-telling pieces,
videos and animated material that widens the gap between the capabilities available and
what is currently used by governments – despite some great existing examples. Striking the
balance between style and substance in the public sector is an overlooked opportunity.
Many good practices from other fields need to be learned to ensure that while the public
sector primarily is about people, the messages it delivers are also meaningful to these
people through relevant style, and accessible and inclusive communication techniques. The
face of the public sector– as well as societies – may change for ever if more meaningful
content moved beyond the business-as-usual techniques and used engaging and powerful
messaging that is more suitable to today’s audience and more aligned with existing

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *