Editorial: FSA has its PR work cut out for it

Just a week after the appointment of its somewhat controversial new chairman Professor John Krebs, moves are now afoot at the Food Standards Agency to set up an eight-strong PR team, plus a director of communications to steer what is likely to be one of the most challenging public awareness campaigns of recent years. The public is still reeling from the food scares of the 1990s and it is going to be an uphill struggle rebuilding public confidence, which is why it might have been wise to turn the natural order of things on its head in this case and bring in the communications team prior to the announcement of Krebs’ appointment.

Just a week after the appointment of its somewhat controversial new

chairman Professor John Krebs, moves are now afoot at the Food Standards

Agency to set up an eight-strong PR team, plus a director of

communications to steer what is likely to be one of the most challenging

public awareness campaigns of recent years. The public is still reeling

from the food scares of the 1990s and it is going to be an uphill

struggle rebuilding public confidence, which is why it might have been

wise to turn the natural order of things on its head in this case and

bring in the communications team prior to the announcement of Krebs’

appointment.



Sheila McKechnie, head of the Consumers’ Association, has already made

clear her disappointment that the FSA is to be headed by an academic,

rather than a consumer campaigner and Krebs will also have to convince a

small, but very vocal group of consumers of his sincerity in putting

consumers interests first. Krebs’ emphasis on transparency is laudable,

but the first task for the communications team is likely to be to dispel

the impression that this is a rather bizarre appointment.



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