Acting in the style of a parliamentary select committee, the commission will investigate why councils' reputations are declining, despite an increase in satisfaction with individual services. The commission is being chaired by Buckinghamshire County Council head of communications and customer services Carl Welham.
He said: 'The fall in the overall reputation of local government in last year's best value performance indicator survey is important for more than reasons of vanity - it makes it harder for us to engage residents and others.'
The commission will initially set out to define what constitutes effective local government communication.
Its findings and recommendations will be published at the LG Communications annual conference in May.