CIPR applauds Govt move to encourage private and charity sector collaboration

The CIPR has praised the Government's efforts to encourage joint campaigns with companies and charities by cutting red tape, saying it should lead to 'more imaginative and worthwhile projects'.

Change4life: Working with brands
Change4life: Working with brands

Amid tight budgets, it is reducing the regulations that departments face when working with the private and voluntary sector.

Alex Aiken, executive director of government comms, said: ‘Partnerships with organisations in the private and charity sectors have produced some of the most creative and powerful government campaigns, and we will do all we can to encourage these collaborations.’

The changes come in the context of deep cuts to the Government's comms budget, with spending of £1bn in 2009-10 reduced to £300m.

They include departments no longer having to match funding from external partners, with the idea that work can now be carried out that is majority funded by external organisations.

Following the review of civil service practice, in certain circumstances departments will now be able to work exclusively with partners.

The requirement for a department, when approached by an external organisation, to proactively contact all competitors will also be scrapped.

The Change4Life campaign, which is run out of the Department of Health and includes PR support from Freud Communications, has been highlighted as an example of good practice.

Most recently, Change4Life ran Be Food Smart, which included work with partners such as ASDA, The Co-Operative Food, Aldi, Arla, Quorn and others.

Smaller-scale partnerships, such as Defra’s work with Dogs Trust to deliver the #chipmydog campaign, are also being encouraged.

The move was praised by the CIPR. A spokesman commented: 'Mutual benefit is about a lot more than money and this development will build stronger relationships by opening partnerships up to work on many more levels.

'Within this new approach there's a welcome appreciation of the specific needs that arise when trying to make the most of opportunities available to government and partners. That should encourage some more imaginative and worthwhile projects to come to life that previously would have floundered in the long haul to matched funding.'

News of the partnership push follows the Government announcing it would spend £100,000 on comms training for existing staff.

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