The number of press officers in local government communications
bears a direct relation to the public profile of the borough, according
to findings released by research firm MORI.
The research, which was conducted across 30 district councils, shows
that profile increases among the public with the addition of each PRO up
to a critical mass of five.
MORI compared two councils which scored the same for their services on
the Government’s performance index. While one council, with two PR
staff, scored a satisfaction rating of minus 13 from its residents, the
other, with eight PR staff, scored plus 43.
MORI’s government research head, Ben Page, said: ’District councils with
just one person in the communications office need to increase this to
two. This leads to the biggest increase in profile.’
Moving away from soft, ribbon-cutting media opportunities and towards
hard issues which residents can understand is also vital, Page said.