PUBLIC SECT0R: Salford to launch PR push to shed image of poverty

Salford City Council is planning a major campaign aimed at shedding its image of an area of massive social deprivation.

According to the council's communications and PR manager Ian Andrew, the campaign includes the launch of a newly created visual identity, which concentrates on regeneration efforts in the area, rather than its poverty and social problems.

The council's own research into public perception found that people mostly associated Salford with social deprivation and high crime rates.

A focus of the campaign will be on the transformation in recent years of the Salford Quays, including The Lowry complex.

Andrew confirmed that council members are now hammering out details of the PR push and creation of the new visual identity, which is set for a possible launch in the autumn.

Also involved in the campaign is regeneration body Salford Partnership, whose members include Greater Manchester Police, as well as the council.

'This will form the blueprint for all our comms work,' Andrew said, adding that aspects being considered also include working more closely with nearby Manchester City Council in promotion efforts.

Andew stressed it was important that Salford's relationship with Manchester was seen as more positive than in the past and based on finding ways to promote the area as a whole. He said: 'Being next to the regional capital is a positive thing.'

It is understood that Salford has looked closely at the partnership between Newcastle and Gateshead councils for inspiration.

The development of this latest PR push comes as the council seeks to recruit its first head of marketing and communication.

The creation of the post follows a critical Audit Commission comprehensive performance assessment report late last year. This called for improvements in the way the council consults with residents and deals with partners.

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