COI to court experts in behaviour change

The Central Office of Information (COI) is planning to set up a panel of 'behaviour change experts' such as psychologists and sociologists to help out on major PR campaigns.

Looking out: the COI's Sean Larkins
Looking out: the COI's Sean Larkins

The roster will add an extra level of expertise to campaigns such as the Department of Health's Change4Life anti-obesity campaign, which already applies behavioural theory to public relations.

Applicants from a range of academic and practitioner backgrounds will be considered, including behavioural psychologists, behavioural economists, sociologists and anthropologists.

The announcement that the Government's PR department is to set up its first approved behaviour change supplier list comes days after it announced a five-step guide to changing behaviour.

Campaigns should be developed from 'identifying behaviours' to 'developing a communications model', according to the COI's guidance document.

COI deputy director of strategic consultancy Sean Larkins said: 'We have world-class marketers but more and more of our campaigns have a behaviour change element.'

Larkins added that he was looking for 'published experts', many of whom would be university professors, but there may also be a few 'new and different' agencies.

Band & Brown Communications head of public sector Simon Francis responded: 'The biggest challenge for this panel will be to overcome the limits of behavioural models - which are deliberately kept simple and theoretical. It's crucial that the roster has fair representation from senior professionals who represent current practitioners and that it recognises wider, non- public sector expertise.'

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

Department store John Lewis is to use its 150th anniversary this year to talk about its history, which "not enough people know about", according to director of communications Peter Cross.

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

The man who helped Barack Obama win the 2008 and 2012 US presidential elections is to work for Labour along with members of his team.

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Pay-TV giant Sky has added Fever PR to its agency line-up for a wide-ranging brief covering products and services.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home for Easter and will reconvene on Tuesday for further deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.