Attacking public sector communications is "boring and shows a lack of understanding about what we do"
A recent City AM article points to an 26% increase in the Mayor of London's press office since Sadiq Khan was elected, claiming the "increases in spending play into a larger narrative from his opponents that Khan is more concerned about PR than policy".
This follows a worrying trend in criticism of those investing in public sector communications, with CIPR finding itself defending the valuable contribution of public sector communications in recent months in responses to The Sun newspaper, The Taxpayers Alliance and even the Home Secretary.
As a result the CIPR will begin work to address this lack of understanding and to champion the work of our public sector members by putting together a series of case studies through our Local Public Services Group. For more information contact the Vice-Chair of the LPS Group, Mandy Pearse.
The debate around amounts invested in communication and public relations is boring, tedious and simply comes from those who lack an understanding about what we do.
Public relations is not about spinning news or publicity. It is about the sustained effort to establish and maintain trust, goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics. In the public sector, communications fulfils a duty and is essential in delivering information and services to the most vulnerable and communicating change. Their impact in supporting frontline services should be supported and appreciated.
As Chair of CIPR's LPS Group I am fully aware of the value and investment being placed on proactive communication, helping people and Councils in serving to support and deliver front line services. Stories like this do a disservice to their valuable work. This Freedom of Information request highlights an increase in overall spending on staff in City Hall but fails to put those figures in any context. Once again, we are having to defend the role of our colleagues who appear to be nothing more than a soft target by those who fail to understand the importance of their work.
About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations
Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the world's only Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas with nearly 10,000 members.
The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).