After another PR Week appearance, I’m getting a bit worried that there is only negative news coming from the public sector public relations fraternity…
That’s probably because despite some briefs still coming out, the news isn’t that great.
In fact, my initial response to the report which showed that 47% of PR agencies with public sector clients have lost some business was, “who are the 53% who are lying.”
Truth is that every agency has suffered and while there is some life in the sector, it will just look very different from life under the last government.
So, my more considered response to PR Week, was:
The pressure is on all public sector departments to reduce spending across the board and it’s clear that despite the many successes in the past, marketing and communications is one of the first areas to feel the pressure.
No organisation which receives government money is protected from these communications cuts.
But within these cuts, public bodies should look at how they can use this opportunity to improve their communications. Bringing in agency support to devise new strategies, or working in more flexible ways with their agency partners should be investigated.
Communications activity that is planned and delivered effectively can demonstrate real return on investment and actually realise the government mantra of spending only to save in the future.
And this return on investment could help address serious issues, as I wrote about earlier in helping NICE improve uptake of antenatal care.