PUBLIC SECT0R: Fresh Scope PR bid to allay negative images

Scope is to launch a fresh PR drive in its bid to stamp out

negative images of the disabled.



The communications industry routinely shows the disabled as downbeat,

lonely and needy, according to the charity for people with cerebral

palsy.



To counter these messages Scope's latest campaign, to be launched next

month by disabilities minister Maria Eagle, will directly target

communications professionals for the first time.



Those to be targeted include PROs, journalists, advertisers and

marketers.



Also colleges and media training groups such as the National Council for

Training of Journalists and the Institute of Public Relations will be

approached.



Scope spokesman Robert McLean said: 'It's important that we get the

communicators of the future. For too long disabled people have not been

seen as an intrinsic part of society.'



The campaign, to be called Tell It Like It Is, involves the promotion of

a training pack for communicators. This pack includes a video of media

personalities, such as Jon Snow, offering advice on how better to

portray the disabled. A roadshow programme will also be launched later

this year.



The campaign is being handled by Scope's in-house PR team and has been

funded by a £24,000 grant awarded two years ago by what was then

called the Department for Employment and Education, now Department for

Work and Pensions.



Scope has still not replaced assistant director(public relations) James

Rye, who left the charity in July to join residential care group, The

Disabilities Trust, as its first external affairs director. His post is

now under review, with a decision likely early next year.



Internal comms manager Jill Grogan and external affairs manager

Christina McGill, who leads this latest PR campaign, head PR in the

interim.



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