Local authority PROs need say in web presentation

PROs must take control of presenting the delivery of public services on the web, replacing IT staff in the vanguard of the local government e-revolution says Worcester council PR chief Kevin Galloway.

PROs must take control of presenting the delivery of public services on the web, replacing IT staff in the vanguard of the local government e-revolution says Worcester council PR chief Kevin Galloway.

According to Galloway, local authority PROs should lobby council chiefs for more say in the electronic presentation of council websites.

Many councils have handed web duties to IT staff 'because of tradition'.

As a result, councils are failing to present services in an accessible way that will encourage more involvement from voters, claims Galloway.

'Many councils are simply making electronic versions of existing forms and information about councils and their services, and slapping them on the web.'

'While no one doubts the skills of IT staff, what is being presented is turgid information which reads like treacle,' he said.

'It is not accessible and will turn taxpayers away from what is ultimately a democratic revolution,' he added.

Galloway claims PROs are best placed to ensure voters understand information and to deliver on plans to open local government and allow council taxpayers to carry out transactions - such as paying parking fines or applying for school places - via the internet.

'CEOs have become obsessed by the medium and are failing to get the message across,' Galloway said.

'It takes a trained communicator to show how to understand and use the message,' he added.

Leader, p12.



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