Public sector round-up

CHARITY: HRH The Countess of Wessex has been appointed patron of The National Autistic Society. The charity’s press office denied that the Countess would be advising it in any PR capacity. It said the Countess’s role as patron would be a strictly ambassadorial one, and that most of her time would be spent visiting schools, centres and openings.

TRAINING: The National Blood Service is putting together a media training package with Broadcast Media Services to teach its staff how to deal with the media. The Service’s comms manager Chris Hartley said he hoped to spend up to £30,000 on the programme, which will begin with extra training for the organisation’s 15 comms staff. Training will also be given to doctors.

CHARITY: Macmillan Cancer Relief is preparing an autumn media campaign to highlight its family support work. It is hoped editorials in the national and regional press, together with radio interviews, will appear from October onwards.

HEALTH: Employment promotional body Cumbria and Lancashire NHS Workforce Development Confederation is to launch a PR campaign called You Can, aimed at recruiting staff to support mental health work. The campaign is on behalf of three mental health NHS trusts in the area.

EVENT: The BBC head of news Richard Sambrook is to speak at a conference on the impact of globalisation on the

communications strategies of NGOs, organised by Amnesty International and the Centre for Strategy and Communication. The conference, called The Changing Face of the Global Media and What it Means for International NGOs, is to take place at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London on 21 November, which coincides with UN World TV day.

CHARITY: Children’s charity NCH has launched a campaign to promote its Give it up for Children event, which is taking place in January 2004. The event involves sponsoring people to stick to their New Year Resolutions. TV game show host Richard Whiteley has already been signed up to help promote the campaign.

ANIMAL WELFARE: Aurelia Public Relations has won the account for the renaming of charity The National Canine Defence League to Dogs’ Trust after a four-way pitch. It was felt the new name, which will become effective in the

autumn, is more appropriate to the charity’s dual role of preventing dogs being abandoned and caring for those that are.

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