The public recognises Big Society is a good idea in principle ('Almost two-thirds of public baffled by David Cameron's Big Society', prweek.com/uk, 28 January). However, the politicising of the message and the word 'society' are the issues.
Our research (not yet published), conducted with employees from the shop floor to the boardroom, shows there is an appetite for getting involved in what they see as a good thing. One of the biggest issues is a matter of language and focus. They are predominantly more interested in contributing to their 'community' - not 'society'.
We need to de-politicise it and make it real and relevant. This is not a government policy. It's a shift in culture - a way of living, working and doing business. There is a big role for communicators. Personally, I'm enjoying it.
- ... but it's not practical for ordinary folk ...
Claire Cater's point that the majority of people recognise Big Society is interesting, given that according to this survey no one has a clue what it means.
The first point with Big Society is to stop classing it as a policy and start calling it an ideal.
However, my fundamental problem with Big Society is that it is just not practical. Expecting people to give up their time for their community is fine, but is there really going to be such a large movement of people needed to take over council services?
- ... and marketing comms has an important role
Sooner or later, the Government will realise marketing comms is not a waste of money and has an important role to play in explaining new policies such as Big Society.