CIPR defends 'invaluable' public sector communication
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has defended the value of public sector communications after an article published in The Sun on 6 January accused communications teams of squandering the public purse.
The article purports that "organisations are underfunded while spending more and more money on managing their reputations" but fails to highlight the frontline work undertaken by communications professionals in supporting victims of crime and locating offenders.
The often undervalued work of public sector communicators ensures residents understand the services available to them and the ways in which they can be accessed. By failing to highlight these contributions, the article promotes an antiquated interpretation of public relations that does a disservice to public sector communications and the wider industry.
Public sector communicators deliver vital support to frontline services by providing crucial information, access for help and ultimately, by protecting and saving lives. The past year has shown this is not a nice to have - it is essential to having effective public services.
Public sector communications is often a soft target for those who misunderstand the value of modern public relations but the facts are simple - our public sector colleagues deliver first-class services for local communities that enable access to the most vital frontline services. I'm proud of their contribution and the CIPR will continue to champion their achievements.
The article published by the Sun also evidences how journalists can misrepresent statistics based on Freedom of Information (FOI) requests. The figures quoted in the article are not placed in any context and do not compare like with like. FOI requests can be important for journalists but when misused, they act as a blunt weapon against communications teams and are counterproductive in revealing truth.
Notes to editors
About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.
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).