Local Government - Pagoda boosts social work perception

Campaign: Social Work Changes Lives

Social work: changing perception
Social work: changing perception

Client: Association of Directors of Social Work
PR team: Pagoda Public Relations
Timescale: April 2009 - ongoing
Budget: £50,000

Against a background of relentlessly negative media coverage including the Brandon Muir case in Dundee, Pagoda was asked to help improve the public perception of social work services in Scotland.

Objectives

- To improve public understanding of social work services

- To challenge negative perceptions held by media, public and politicians

- To ensure the value of work done by social work staff is recognised

Strategy and plan

The team established a network of contacts in social work departments to drive the generation of positive stories and supported the network with a PR tool kit and website to share experiences and ideas.

Measurement and evaluation

The team secured Scotland-wide coverage for good news stories. Positive coverage ranged from highlighting the work done by social workers with young people leaving care to a feature based on a journalist spending a week shadowing social workers.

Results

Surveys by Scottish Opinion of a 1,000 Scots showed that the proportion with a positive attitude to social work services had risen from 38 to 47 per cent over the course of the campaign's first year - and those who had been unsure about their view had fallen from 43 to 31 per cent.

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