Strategic change processes
The CBS professionalises its press contacts

The CBS professionalises its press contacts

The situation

The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) stores and manages an enormous amount of Dutch statistical data and information. The CBS does not issue interpretations of the statistical data. Their job is to present the numbers in a neutral form. Other organisations, like the CPB, use the data to create and issue analyses and interpretations. This sharp distinction makes it very hard for the CBS to differentiate and profile its brand. It is however becoming increasingly important to create name familiarity ‘out there’. The CBS therefore decided to professionalise its own press communication process to such an extent that its own staff would be able to take responsibility for it.

Our contribution

We advised and supported the head of communication in determining a strategy, as well as on how to approach the press proactively. We looked at what the CBS can and is allowed to communicate about, we set up a media calendar, and most importantly, we showed them how to stay in control. In addition, we also held a tailor-made workshop on press communication for the staff. The aim was to fulfil a three-pronged objective:

  1. Increasing awareness (personal development)
  2. Enhancing insight and understanding (how does the press work?)
  3. Improving the work procedure (how do you prepare and how do you speak to people?)

We gave a great deal of attention to personal preparation; after all, everyone has his own style and deals differently with press issues.

The result

The workshop helped to give CBS new insight into answering press questions and professionalising communication with the press. As a result, the organisation is now much more active on the strategic level. The CBS also recently successfully cooperated in the Kassa programme (TV show).