Editorial: Social workers in need of ’image’ PR

The traditionally negative image that social work has within the media has unquestionably led to a siege mentality within the profession.

The traditionally negative image that social work has within the

media has unquestionably led to a siege mentality within the

profession.



One in five social workers feel the media is so untrustworthy that it is

best avoided. This is despite the fact that the majority of people

working in social care have never had any contact with a journalist, and

of those who have had contact, nearly 70 per cent feel they had been

treated fairly.



This research of social workers shows that too many people believe the

role of communications staff is handling media enquiries rather than

acting as a facilitator between those people working in the industry and

the medium.



Journalists need stories to have credibility; that means having direct

contact with practitioners and not just the PROs. As James Flynn at

Southwark points out, PROs can’t be expected to be a press officer and a

social working expert.



Social workers need to face up to the press with a more mature

attitude.



Local council PROs need to educate social workers that dealing with the

media is something they should be willing to do if they truly want to

change the image of the profession.



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