OPINION: Councils need right media approach

At the IPR Local Government Group annual conference, Evening Standard local government correspondent Ross Lydall explained that editors would tell him that 'if the story's not as big as Beckham, it's not going in'.

Local government stories, understandably, may not necessarily have the same allure as a high-profile celebrity such as Beckham. But Lydall and other journalists did urge councils to inject a bit of colour into their campaigns and dispense with the bland press release forever.

The annual awards ceremony at the conference confirmed there is creativity in the public sector. One winner, Westminster City Council, was told by judges that it used 'brilliant photo opportunities and stories that excited local, national and global media alike'.

A key message from the speakers was that the media does not exist to boost the reputation of councils. Being honest with the media when things go wrong, and accessibility to key council contacts for interviews will help to do that.

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