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Comms Coffee Club Podcast | Episode 2 | ​Exploring the Power of Communications in Government and Crisis Management | The Story of Kate Howell

8 September 2023 by Max Forsyth


In communications, understanding the intricacies of messaging, strategy, and execution is crucial. Yet, when placed in the context of government decision-making and crisis management, the stakes are even higher. Episode 2 of the Comms Coffee Club Podcast delves deep into this intricate world, bringing to the fore the captivating journey of Kate Howell.

Communications: The Government Lens

Starting her academic journey at the prestigious Oxford University, Kate Howell played pivotal roles in the UK Government's communications department, particularly during the Blair years. Her insights offer a deep dive into the subtle mechanics of strategic communication in governmental decision-making processes, including her unique experiences in the Deputy Prime Minister's office. As Kate eloquently shares, the power of communications extends beyond just conveying messages—it's a potent tool in shaping decisions and framing narratives at the highest echelons of power.

Borough Market: From Humble Beginnings to Transformation

Shifting gears from the political spectrum, Kate chronicles the evocative transformation journey of London's iconic Borough Market. As a hub that has seen the influence of figures like Jamie Oliver and navigated the challenges posed by events like the BSE scandal, the market's evolution is inspiring. Kate underscores the significance of sustainability, strategic partnerships, and innovation in crafting an endearing brand image and galvanising community engagement.

Tackling Crisis: The 2017 London Bridge Terror Attack

Yet, not all chapters of her journey were smooth sailing. Kate's recount of the harrowing 2017 London Bridge Terror Attack paints a vivid picture of the vital role of communications during crises. The narrative shifts from the panic-stricken initial moments to the importance of a robust stakeholder network and concludes with the resilient spirit shown by the Borough Market community. It's a testament to the essence of community unity and strategic communication's pivotal role in such testing times.

For those keen on delving deeper into Kate's story and drawing from her wealth of experiences, the YouTube, Spotify and Apple Podcast episodes are embedded at the bottom of this article.

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