Aiken fires up PRCA conference

Public sector PR workers were urged this week to take a far more pro-active approach in order to grab good headlines.

Aiken: rousing address
Aiken: rousing address

Westminster City Council's director of communications Alex Aiken sent a stark message to his colleagues in a rousing speech at the PRCA's national conference in London.

Striding up and down the aisle, Aiken said local authorities and the agencies working for them should ensure they were clear about objectives by asking council bosses: 'What do you want to be famous for?'

Public sector PR 'should be about campaigns to redress injustices, not just about processes', he warned.

Aiken also stressed that strategy, not tactics, should be the focus. The former Conservative Central Office staffer illustrated his point by explaining how he had received a press release that morning from a local authority in Wales emphasising the fact that it was using TV to communicate to residents.

In an earlier session, the Telegraph Media Group's corporate affairs director Guy Black stated that the age of mass communications was over. 'The digital world has fractured the media,' he said.

He stressed that there would be a growth in different types of audiences and a need for more targeted communications.

Black said the average age of The Daily Telegraph newspaper readers was 57 years, but that this dropped to 41 years across the brand's different digital platforms.

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