Public Sector: LGA fails to stir councils on brand

The Local Government Association's (LGA) plans for a national campaign to boost the image of councils are under threat, research director Ben Page has told PRWeek.

The LGA wants to launch a national campaign at its annual conference in July in Harrogate to raise awareness of councils' roles and responsibilities, after MORI research showed there is a correlation between public awareness of council services and public satisfaction.

But the plans may now be scuppered by lack of buy-in from some councils and because the 'product' is not good enough, said Page.

'We need to get more councils to do the basics in terms of communications.

Until we do that, our chances of getting money (from councils) to promote local government as a national brand are slim,' he added.

However, the LGA has denied that some councils are refusing to be involved and has pledged to plough on with the campaign.

Head of corporate practice Debbie Wood said: 'We know not every council is the same. Each community has its own priorities but we want to build on best practice and help councils with comms.'

MORI is currently researching why there is a perception gap between how the public rate councils and their services, with individual services boasting a better reputation than councils overall, according to the LGA.

It is also evaluating local government media coverage.

The LGA enlisted Page to lead a review group on issues affecting the reputation of local government in February (PRWeek, 25 February).

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