CRE starts drive to boost profile

The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) is set to hire a PR chief and appoint a PR agency for the first time in 18 months as part of a major push to raise its profile in post-Lawrence Britain.

The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) is set to hire a PR chief

and appoint a PR agency for the first time in 18 months as part of a

major push to raise its profile in post-Lawrence Britain.



The CRE says it has already spoken to three agencies, including Fishburn

Hedges, but that no decision had yet been made. The move coincides with

a new advertising campaign through Euro RSCG WNEK Gosper planned for

early spring. Last year’s CRE advertising campaign attracted controversy

and column inches by using stereotypes to raise awareness of racism.



The CRE widened the remit of its top communications job early last year

by promoting its equal opportunities policy expert Phil Barnett to head

both the education policy team and the PR department. The commission’s

PR had been overseen by Marjorie Thompson, but she left in 1997 to start

Cause Connection - Saatchi and Saatchi’s cause-related marketing

agency.



The new head of PR will oversee the media and publications teams.



The appointed agency will handle some press relations and lobbying in

relation to a number of pieces of legislation that are planned this

year, including the bill to amend the Race Relations Act, which is

currently before the Lords.



Barnett said: ’We are looking for general all-round support in getting

our message across in a new year, which will involve new legislation and

the appointment of a new chairman of this organisation. We are gearing

up to make a serious step change in the positive impact we are able to

make, hence we are appointing a new head of communications and

restructuring that department. It is all part of an effort to increase

our profile and impact.’



Barnett described the discussions so far as ’early chats’ but said that

an agency appointment could be made in ’about three weeks’. The length

and value of the contract were still to be decided, he added.



The CRE hired Greenwood Tighe 18 months ago to increase awareness of

racism.



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