UPDATE: PR meets ‘Big Society’ on CIPRTV

Wednesday, 2 February 2011, 20:24 | Category : General
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An interesting discussion, although one which sadly could have done with a lot more time spent on it. That said, a great job by the CIPR team in cramming it in to 20 minutes, as I suppose they understand that everyone has homes (ideally) / emails (realistically) to go back to.

In summary then, the big society as a concept has not exactly been communicated particularly well by the government and, as a result, is still not quite understood by the vast majority of us. It may be about more social involvement, but many criticise it as a re-hash of the co-operative approach that has been around for years… or just a flighty idea behind which to hide budget cuts.

If the big society is about utilising a widespread public desire to feel like you are making a difference, then the government certainly needs to put more faith in PR professionals than it has to date. If localism is at the heart of this, then PR people at a local/public sector level are key. To date, however, these are the professionals on the receiving end of the cuts… So something for DC to re-evaluate perhaps.

Beyond actually dealing with communicating the big society as a concept, the discussion touched on what it will mean for PR professionals on a wider scale. Claire Cater summed this up rather well, suggesting that PR professionals will need to take centre stage, from understanding the specifics of the localism bill, to pushing the organisations they represent think about how this approach will impact on their day-to-day business and communications strategies.

In short then, a lot more for the government to do from both an organisational and a comms perspective if the big society concept is going to avoid its rather unfortunate acronym.

Russell

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