Councils 'should work with local media', says Brighton comms chief

Brighton & Hove Council's top comms man has called on councils to 'partner' with local news outlets.

Partnership: John Shewell
Partnership: John Shewell

Head of comms John She­well writes in this week’s public sector column that public services should coll­aborate with local news media to release information about specific issues or campaigns – with a focus on the web.

Current estimates suggest local news circulation is falling by ten to 40 per cent a year. Shewell says new partnerships could address this.

‘Embrace the social web,’ writes Shewell. ‘The biggest threat to traditional media is the internet, but it can also be an opportunity. Recent ABC figures show that while print circulation is declining, online audience share is increasing.’

Shewell goes on to state that the media can be brought into the ‘partnership circle’.

‘By unifying local public service comms it makes sense to include the local media as part of the family.

‘In this way local public services can develop economies of communication and support their local media. As with most families there will always be disagreements, but strong and healthy families work through their issues for the sake of unity,’ writes Shewell.

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