Head of comms Niall Cowley said he had been drawing up a comms strategy since joining two months ago (PRWeek, 28 April), and had identified the two areas as those that could benefit from external support.
‘If one of our young ambassadors gets in trouble, we need to make sure we can react quickly, and the same goes for our celebrity supporters,’ explained Cowley.
‘When you think back to media furore after Jodi Marsh donated her Celebrity Big Brother fee to us, we would have been better placed to handle that had we had crisis support.’
Marsh’s suitability as supporter for the charity was called into question by Liberal Democrat MP Phil Willis, who condemned her as a poor role model.
Cowley added that consumer campaigns such as the recent launch of ‘Take a Stand’, rolled out in conjunction with 20th Century Fox’s X-Men III film, had been successful, but the charity wanted to make sure it had a focus on stakeholder comms.
‘We’re a new charity and we punch above our weight when it comes to consumer coverage, but it’s important that our funders are kept informed about everything we’re doing,’ he said. ‘It’s also important that organisations, such as the police and other charities that deal with young people, know what we do. That way, we can work with them more effectively.’
He added that attracting donors was also a priority, and the agency’s corporate experience would aid its appeal to businesses.