At some point in just about every presentation I give about digital communication, and our efforts to do it better at the Department of Health, I get asked a version of this question: "That's all very well, but what about all the people who can't access this stuff?"
Sometimes the question is asked more aggressively, the implication being that by doing work to make our digital communication as effective as possible, I am demonstrating that I don't care about the old, vulnerable or otherwise digitally excluded.
Either way, I nod, say something about how seriously I take the issue of inclusion, and then give a well rehearsed but slightly defensive answer.
I say that I don't advocate doing digital communication at the exclusion of other methods, but digital just happens to be the bit that I'm responsible for.
I say that I work alongside the people who are responsible for other disciplines, and that digital communication always works best when it's fully integrated with other methods.
If I'm feeling bullish, I mention that some of the assumptions about digitally excluded groups may not be quite right, and that it's not necessarily always true that older, poorer or iller groups don't use the internet.
And I suggest that digital tools and techniques can sometimes help us to reach (and include) previously hard-to-reach groups, groups that can't necessarily be reached (or included) by a leaflet campaign, a letter, or an article in a newspaper.
In DH the way we organise ourselves helps us to overcome the perception that digital is a silo just for the geeks and the groovy. We're very lucky that Alan, who leads on offline publications works in the same team as the people that do all the digital stuff.
And the team in DH working on the Information Strategy - which we consulted on recently - will address digital techniques and channels, but also health inequalities and multiple other information channels too.
Digital inclusion is an important issue. People wiser than me are working hard to reduce the number of people excluded from the benefits of being online. But exclusion is not a reason to ignore the benefits of digital engagement. And as we get better at it, digital engagement can help us to include groups that might otherwise be excluded.
So as digital communicators , I don't think we need to punish ourselves for our focus on digital solutions. We just need to be confident that we have good answers to the question.