Writing for prweek.com's public sector column, chair of the CIPR's local public services group Polly Rance says: 'While it all felt right at the time, in the cold light of the age of austerity, much of it seems like navel-gazing and, at worst, like self-aggrandisement.'
Rance's comments come as the national media have become increasingly aggressive against local councils that spend large amounts on external PR consultants.
Despite this, Rance adds that reputation still matters.
'Yes of course it does, but not as an end in itself,' writes Rance, who is also London Borough of Hackney head of media and external relations. 'We should never tire in our attempts to promote the reputation of the areas we serve, to attract visitors and inward investment, and boost local economies.'
The CIPR local public services group conference 2011 'Hard Times: A Conference for the Age of Austerity' was announced this week. It will take place on 13 and 14 October at the CIPR's headquarters in London.