WPI drafts in Equinox for comms

The Welsh Procurement Initiative (WPI) has appointed Equinox Public Relations to manage its communications strategy.

Set up in 2002 by the Welsh Assembly, the body has selected the Cardiff-based agency to develop and implement a comms programme to improve awareness and understanding of its aims,objectives and progress.

The focus is to persuade more organisations in Wales to recognise the value of effective procurement. The publicity drive will target regional media to raise awareness and educate Welsh public authorities.

To a degree, the campaign will also involve national and trade media, supported by event management, to target procurement professionals as well as members of the general public.

WPI team leader Paul Skellon said: ‘Although we have made huge strides in the past 18 months, we need to engage effectively with wider audiences in a strategic and targeted way. The work of the initiative is varied and complex, and we must make more sector professionals aware of the benefits to be gained from a joined-up approach to procurement.’

Equinox director of PR Heather Gifford added: ‘It is our remit to ensure that [WPI’s] aims and achievements are communicated to internal and external audiences, to keep procurement high on the agenda.’

It is estimated that the annual expenditure on procurement by the Welsh public sector is £3bn, representing 40 per cent of the Assembly’s budget and 11 per cent of Wales’ gross domestic product.

The Better Value Wales review of public sector procurement identified a ‘realistic and achievable’ savings target of three per cent a year, resulting ultimately in annual savings of £90m by 2010 for redirection to vital front-line services.

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