Public Sector: Political changes 'could affect credibility'

The credibility of council comms teams is at risk of being undermined following changes in the political make-up of the country's local authorities, according to one council comms boss.

Following the local government elections on 5 May, Brighton & Hove City Council head of comms John Shewell writes in this week's public sector column that comms chiefs face 'three stern tests'.

'The first is whether they can navigate a successful transition from one administration to the next or towards a new agenda if it's still the same administration,' he writes.

Shewell says: 'This means understanding the political manifesto of the incoming administration, but more importantly devising a narrative that shapes the agenda. The agenda will be driven by a careful alignment of the party's manifesto and the organisation's priorities.'

He advises comms heads to sustain the change by devising a 'reputation management strategy' for the organisation, focusing on a 'narrative arc' across a timeline with key dates. Finally, he stresses that a great strategy is worth nothing if the execution is poor.

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