Community Care survey highlights stress over bad PR

Bad press equals stress is the message to come out of a recent survey of that much-maligned group, social workers, and the solution lies in better PR.

Bad press equals stress is the message to come out of a recent

survey of that much-maligned group, social workers, and the solution

lies in better PR.



A survey conducted by the organ of the profession, Community Care

magazine, found that the perceived negative portrayal of social workers

in the media was having a detrimental effect on the majority of the

profession. And in part, the blame for this rests with communications

professionals employed to liaise with the media, respondents

believed.



A high percentage felt that those handling media enquiries did not know

enough about the situations they were discussing. Within local

authorities, more than 30 per cent of respondents said the main media

contact had ’little or no understanding’ of the work that was being

done.



Local council communications professionals admit this has been the case,

but insist they are addressing the matter.



’You can’t expect a press officer to be a social work expert,’ says

James Flynn, communications manager at London’s Southwark Council. The

solution, he believes, is to train members of the social services

department to handle the media so they can deal with the press in

response to any specialist issues.





Leader, p8.



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