Public sector flunks communication poll

The public sector has comprehensively lost out to the private sector in a survey that looked at how well various organisations communicate with the public.

Supermarkets: scored highly
Supermarkets: scored highly

Local and national government scored 18 and 19 per cent below the average respectively. Meanwhile, supermarkets scored 19 per cent above the average.

The research examined the level to which the British public feel that organisations they deal with on a day-to-day basis are communicating with them.

The public sector also falls three per cent behind banks, and one per cent behind building societies and mobile phone companies.

The report suggests a perceived gulf between the relevancy of communications from commercial organisations, compared with the far less well-targeted messages reaching people from public sector bodies.

But David Holdstock, London Borough of Hillingdon head of comms and new LGComms chairman, defended the public sector. He said: 'The issue is that councils can be responsible for communicating in the region of 800 support service areas, whereas supermarkets are focusing on one venue where you go to do your shopping. Councils have been getting much better at branding services, but clearly there's some work still to do.'

The report also noted that people aged 45 and older feel that the communications they receive from public and private sector bodies are far less targeted and relevant than younger age groups do.

The report commissioned by GI Insight follows a survey of more than 1,000 UK consumers, representative of the national population by age, region, gender and social class.

They were asked how relevant they found communications and marketing from various organisations. Fieldwork was done by research firm Ciao Consumer Surveys. Results were analysed by gender, age and region of the UK.

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