Communications about communications. Or PR about PR. We don't do enough of it.
by Sara Hamilton
I recently had pause to read a blog from a well-respected industry body, which said towards its conclusion (clears throat),
“It’s vital our public sector managers present their services in the best way to ensure everyone understands what they do, how much it costs and demonstrate why people should cherish the service they are responsible for.”
Break. That. Down. …and think about it for a minute.
What do you think it’s saying? I shall tell you what I thought, “Well, hello? welcome along. durrr” is what I thought (well actually, I said it out loud in an outraged voice).
Is that paragraph not the very definition of public sector communications? Have we not been banging on about this since even before Pulp/Blur* (*delete accordingly) were de rigueur?
The blog had a title something like ‘a new public sector’. New? Like effectively communicating our very considerable worth is a new-fangled and shiny thing to do. Pah.
The importance of people knowing about services is what we do day in, day out is it not? Is our industry only just now recognising that, for the very first time? And (after I got over my indignation) actually… is this a good thing? Can we use this sector awakening to demystify what we comms people do and why it’s important amongst colleagues, to leverage their input, and indeed follow the article’s advice ourselves, by letting our ‘customers’ know a little more about why what we do is important?
As an activity, that often goes right to the bottom of the list, such a low priority compared with crisis comms, media requests, campaign work..no?
But you know, a little time spent on comms about comms could help us out in the end.
Now, must get on…I have some ‘presenting of services in the best way’ to get on with.
Sara Hamilton is the quite-new corporate comms manager in the beautiful New Forest (but a disgruntled housing tenant is a disgruntled housing tenant wherever they may be I’d say to you), was previously the long-serving and jaded comms manager in Hemel Hempstead (which she still misses truth be told) and she’s on the tweeter sometimes @mrssarahamilton