Police PROs unite for recruitment

In the wake of Home Secretary Jack Straw's announcement last month

that an extra 9,000 officers are to be recruited nationally over the

next three years, police force PR departments across the Midlands have

united for a fresh recruitment campaign.



PROs from seven Midlands constabularies are involved in the co-ordinated

drive, which will target women and ethnic minorities.



Each was given a brief drawn up by West Mercia force personnel manager

Raj Patel, press officer Alan Peach and marketing manager Menna

Rees-Steer.



Patel, who formulated the idea for a unified campaign and has taken the

role of chief co-ordinator, said: 'We believe a combined campaign would

be more effective in communicating the same message than if carried out

by each force independently.'



PR officers from Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire,

Warwickshire, West Midlands and Staffordshire liaised with West Mercia,

issued press releases and posters, set up a call centre and web site,

and organised an advertising campaign in the local and national press

and regional cinemas.



'Our ideas were suggestive, not prescriptive, and the various

departments in each force were able to mould certain aspects of the

overall campaign to fit their areas,' said Patel, who reports to West

Mercia chief constable Peter Hampson.



'Our budget was incredibly small and we could not afford to use TV and

radio advertising. But by combining resources we have been able to

finance the kind of high-powered initiative not previously possible in

the region.



This will be a cost-effective way of achieving maximum impact,' Patel

added.



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