Commissioning (Digital)


April 2017 to date


System Manager for the Plymouth Online Directory.

Defined content standards and completed a content audit to ensure over 2,500 pages are correct.

Researched and created information to help people with special education and disability needs.

Digital marketing and social media lead to help ensure the team exploits digital communication channels. 25% increase in website traffic (year-on-year) to 480,000 views.

Extensive stakeholder management and partnership working with commissioned providers.

Researched, defined and implemented a new version of the Plymouth Online Directory, using the new GOSS Content Management System. Although supported by a small, temporary, team of people for part of the build this enterprise-sized project was delivered largely singled-handed (against a backdrop of an incredibly aggressive timeframe).

Successfully managed a network of 1,500 content authors.

Created online self-assessments which, so far, has saved the organisation £225,000.

Project Manager for the Stirling Road and Rees Centre Wellbeing Hubs which helps connect the local community to information and activities that support their wellbeing.

Business Analyst for Early Help and Targeted Support, Education Health and Care Plans and Adolescent Support Team projects using Capita.

Part of the Council’s COVID-19 Bronze Response Team providing communication advice through the creation of newsletters, digital content, videos, webinars, digital dashboards and printed materials.

Projects and achievements

New Plymouth Online Directory project

  • Researched options, and presented solutions, for how a replacement to the Plymouth Online Directory might look like and function.
  • Extensive stakeholder management and partnership working with commissioned providers.
  • Analysed existing website data, and information from other sources, to ensure the project was ‘designed with data’.
  • Produced a detailed functional and technical requirement document.
  • Content design and development of an information architecture structure.
  • Developed low-fidelity prototypes.
  • Designed and developed (all aspects) of the beta website and gathered feedback and support to proceed with developing the final version.
  • Defined the content standards and managed the creation and migration of 2,000+ pieces of content within a very aggressive timescale.
  • Responsible for all aspects of the site configuration and on-going maintenance.
  • Created online self-assessments which, so far, has saved the organisation £150,000.
  • Created numerous dashboards, using Google Data Studio, to visualise important information in an easy-to-understand format.
  • Created Personal Assistant job register for people to request help and support in their home.
  • Provided a technical link to the supplier, GOSS, and managed the day-to-day relationship.

Old Plymouth Online Directory (up to June 2019)

  • Identified and repaired over 1,000 broken links.
  • Identified and removed circa 1,800 user accounts that were either spam, dormant or not attributed to a record.
  • Increased the number of active user accounts from circa 575 to circa 825 (circa 2,000 accounts in total).
  • Identified and removed over 100 incorrect products being shown in the Product Showroom.
  • Reduced the number of records within the directory from circa 1,800 to circa 1,500. Approximately 500 records old, out of date or the supplier no longer exists/offers those services.
  • Updated, directly, or via a provider, 1,200 records within the directory.
  • Increased the number of advice pages from circa 260 to circa 300.
  • Updated circa 230 information and advice pages.
  • Standardised key content into a common format, language and style.
  • Ensured the Plymouth City Council website, and Plymouth Online Directory, are more closely aligned in the content being shown.
  • Analysis of Google information to help identify a) problem pages and b) make improvements based on how people search for this website.
  • Optimised key content for SEO to ensure it ranks higher on Google.
  • Provided a technical link to the supplier, Open Objects, and managed the day-to-day relationship.

Plymouth SEND Local Offer (children with disabilities and special needs)

  • Completed a full audit of existing pages and information on the Plymouth Online Directory.
  • Researched best practices and documented strengths and weaknesses.
  • Facilitated workshops to help the management team understand what needs to be done.
  • Documented stakeholder wants and wishes;  created the business, functional and technical requirements.
  • Content design and developed a draft information architecture structure.
  • Developed mock-up prototypes for how a Local Offer website could look and gained approval.
  • Implemented design into the Open Objects CMS – saving the Council approximately £6,000.
  • The new website was launched on 1 October 2018.
  • Overall 40% increase in page views, bounce rate down from 40% to 7%.
    • Homepage – 86% increase
    • Early Years homepage – 704% increase
    • Primary School homepage – 1,071% increase
    • Secondary school homepage – 1,510% increase
    • Preparing for Adulthood homepage – 2,460% increase
  • Content design, UX and customer-champion for a new Capita-based Education, Health and Care Plan Portal.
  • Content design, UX and customer-champion for a new Capita-based Family Information Directory (FID) Portal.

Provider training

  • Helped and supported providers to use, and update their pages on, the Plymouth Online Directory. Delivered 1:1 and group training sessions both online and face-to-face.

Social media and website stats

  • Increased the overall usage of the Plymouth Online Directory by approximately 25%.
  • Developed strategy and created social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram which is updated, for the most part, daily and links people back to the Plymouth Online Directory.
  • On Facebook, the number of people who have seen content associated with the Plymouth Online Directory approximately 15,000 (unique users, 1 September 2017 to 1 September 2018).
  • Created graphics and videos to help promote specific sections on the Plymouth Online Directory and ensured key partners also share on their social media profiles.
  • Created, sent and monitored email newsletters to staff and providers using GovDelivery (similar to Mail Chimp).
  • Created, implemented and managed all digital marketing activities without a budget or any financial support.

Wellbeing Hubs

  • Project Manager for the Stirling Road and Rees Centre Wellbeing Hubs which helps connect the local community to information and activities that support their wellbeing.

Business analysis

  • Business Analyst for the following Capita-based projects
    • Early Help and Targeted Support
    • Education Health and Care Plans
    • Adolescent Support Team

Other things

  • Created numerous consultation activities to support the Commissioning Manager and analysed the results.
Complete digital media life cycleGOSS
Complete content life cycleOpen Objects
Website analyticsGoogle Analytics
Social media creation, management and monitoringGoogle Maps
Web standards and accessibilityGovDelivery email bulletins
User research documentationAdobe web design and development
User interface designSocial media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google My Business)
User experience designSEMRush
User centred designYoast SEO
Service and system designDrupal
System management (for the Content Management System)Objective / Limehouse
Image and video creation / editingGoogle Data Studio
Search engine optimisation Microsoft Power BI
Digital marketing
Communication and marketing
Agile project management
Business analysis
Audit analysis
Partnership working
Social care and commissioning

David Hodder - Plymouth City Council Banner

Many of my projects cannot be shown online due to the nature of their content but I’m happy to talk about the concepts if you’d like to get in touch.