Pagoda wins Scotland Jobcentre Plus comms task

Scotland Jobcentre Plus is poised to embark on a fresh drive to demonstrate the effectiveness of the centres in getting people back to work.

It has appointed Pagoda PR on a £200,000 three-year contract, after a nine-way pitch which involved five-year incumbent agency Beattie Communications.

The Department for Work and Pensions Jobcentre Plus programme aims to merge social security offices with job centres and open 1,000 of them across the country by 2006.

The £2.2bn roll-out programme is designed to address a major change in the way people are helped back into work.

Scotland Jobcentre Plus is divided into two regions, the central area of Scotland and the northern highlands and islands region, the latter of which Pagoda has sub-contracted to Inverness-based agency Platform PR.

Pagoda PR managing director Ian Coldwell said work will involve campaigns on initiatives such as direct payments, which encourage people on benefits to receive payment direct to their bank accounts, and specific campaigns to get women back into the workplace after having children.

The bulk of Pagoda and Platform’s work will involve local media relations as well as training Jobcentre Plus staff to recognise stories for the local media.

Coldwell said: ‘We want to secure the involvement of staff which will be a key factor in our success. We also want to show how local media relations can be a very effective comms channel for a large organisation with local offices.’

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