Elena Uskola

“Fast and effective communications at the heart of politics”

Elena Uskola works as Head of Web Communications at the Prime Minister’s Office. The Government Communications Department is responsible for the external communications of the Prime Minister, the Government and the Prime Minister's Office and distributes EU information for the ministries. Its duties also include planning and managing of emergency communications and media monitoring to help ministers.

“My first job in the Prime Minister’s Office was EU Information Assistant. I started in 1999 when Finland held the EU Presidency, and it was such a rewarding experience that the next year I joined the Finnish Embassy in Paris to help with the French EU Presidency. Since then I’ve had a number of different jobs, ranging from Communications Specialist in international affairs to Head of Web Communications. I started in my current position in 2013.

“My job is to plan and implement interesting, easy-to-use and up-to-date online services for the Prime Minister, the Government and the ministries. I also work closely with my colleagues in the Government Communications Department who are planning and implementing communications on current affairs. This includes better use of social media and communications on Government key projects. An important part of my work is to coordinate and promote web communications collaboration with the ministries.

“In my work I need to have a clear idea of the many complex issues in government communications. Knowledge of the political system in Finland and the EU is also important, as are technical skills in web communications and the social media, not forgetting skills in communication with the media and stakeholders. The combination of a university degree in social sciences and technical studies is a good basis for this job. Other skills important in this job include skills in organisation, project management, languages, writing, and visual communications. When situations change rapidly, you need to be able to react and make decisions quickly. However, it’s also important to be able to plan and visualise communications in the long-term.

“The most important element of my work is the combination of digital communications and highly interesting social and political issues. What make the job meaningful are the intensive pace and the demanding operating environment: the Prime Minister is asked to comment on almost anything. I appreciate that we always try to find a coherent solution of high quality. We all have a strong drive to complete our tasks, and this is the best part of working in the Prime Minister’s Office.”