By Deborah Wroe

There is an old saying about the marketing department being purely responsible for colouring in, and there was a recent meme that perpetuated this myth, all about needing glitter and sparkle for a career in PR. So some people outside the industry could be forgiven for thinking we can’t even do joined up writing never mind joined up thinking but…

I’ve just moved house, again, and a few things struck me as being unjoined up when they could have been. When you change your address at the DVLA, online I might add, for your driving licence, it doesn’t kick in to automatically change your address on vehicle ownership for tax, or to prompt you to also change your address for vehicle ownership, yet the DVLA have had great success with nudge practice on organ donor take up when the two aren’t even linked.

Many people fall foul of assuming that informing your local authority of a change of address for council tax automatically triggers an amendment to the electoral register. It doesn’t. I’m not saying it should – as the information you need to provide to the council tax department is not the same as that for the electoral register but there is some crossover, and a reminder in the form of an additional question on an online form or statement on the council tax bill envelope or bill itself might serve as a reminder and increase the number of potential voters.

And whilst I am on council bashing (I’m not) wouldn’t it be a good idea to send out a bin leaflet with the council tax bill. “New to the area? Here’s what we recycle in which bins round these parts”. Shared information across shared services = reduced public money spent.

Also moving related and a so very first world problem…obviously one of the first changes of address I did was my regular wine delivery. But lo and behold a change of address for my account, and my billing, did not trigger a change of address for delivery and my Christmas wine only went to the wrong chuffing house. Christmas was almost ruined!

What can we learn from all this? Well, that colouring in department might just be able to provide some insight here. Have an away day, strategise, think blue skies – whatever you want to call it – there is always an opportunity to unpick what you do, put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think “What can we do differently?” “How can we add value/save money/reduce time.” Try asking your marketing department or agency, their nuggets could be key.