With public sector bodies keen to target minority audiences, the COI plans to build on existing resources by refreshing its agency roster. It will also establish a new ‘approved suppliers’ list, enabling the body to use freelance consultants that wouldn’t normally meet its criteria.
Head of BME comms Patricia Macauley said: ‘There are freelancers out there who do not work for agencies but specialise in being able to communicate with particularly diverse communities.’
Through its BME roster, the COI aims to reach a variety of audiences, including ethnic minorities, refugees and asylum seekers, faith groups and travellers.
‘The UK’s population has evolved since 2004,’ added Macauley. ‘We will develop the framework to reflect the diverse range of audiences the Government needs to reach. For example, there has been a growing need to engage smaller communities now living in the UK, such as Angolan and Congolese.’
Worth approximately £3m a year, the BME roster was established in 2004 following COI’s Common Good Research into communicating with ethnic minorities.
The review of the roster is expected to be complete by March 2008. Agencies on the present framework are the Focus Consultancy, Media Moguls and The Watch-Men Agency.