From our readers - Baby P: lessons can and should be learned

The tragic case of Baby P in Haringey raises serious issues about public services. PRWeek is right to highlight them.

It is difficult for one authority to handle the challenges this sort of tragedy places on a council. However, lessons can and should be learned.

Social care communicators need to consider how to improve the way they explain their difficult work. Local authorities need to examine how they respond to retain community trust.

There is a strong case for a group of local government PROs to guide authorities facing a similar situation.

Andrew Hadfield MCIPR, Harrow, Cormac Smith MCIPR, Richmond, Oliver Finegold MCIPR, Westminster, Robin Campbell MCIPR, Sutton, Paul Masterman, Southwark

PRWeek wrote a most thoughtful and valid follow-up to the sad Haringey saga. The fact that professionals knew about the problems - as they must have for months because of the court case - confirms the importance that both PROs and their organisations understand that PR is centred on managing reputation. It must have a primary role in advising on what an organisation does, not just what it says.

Roger Haywood, chief executive, Issues Management

EDITOR'S RESPONSE: We disagree that our coverage of Haringey Council and Baby P was either premature or unbalanced. Our content should follow closely the news agenda and our central point was that Haringey knew about this case months ago, but failed to respond adequately. We went to great lengths to gather views from across the spectrum and gave Haringey every chance to defend itself. We reserve the right to identify and criticise poor practice. It seems many senior professionals who read our content agree.

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