Government spends £16M on PR

January 9, 2009

I caught this story just before Christmas, and have re-visited it for further analysis. It’s a cracker.

Hugely-interesting that the Government has ramped up its spend on PR and in particular on media monitoring, as Gordon Brown continues to seemingly (stresses the word seemingly here) struggle through mini-crisis after mini-crisis…and that doesn’t even start to examine the official responses in recent weeks/months concerning the ongoing global and national Recession.

Of crucial importance in the Guardian report, for me, was the following extract:

‘…Jeremy Hunt, the Conservative shadow culture secretary, said: “This is a colossal waste of money, and taxpayers will be furious that when everyone else is tightening their belts the last thing to get cut is the government’s own PR.”…’

Which demonstrates that during tough economic times, the need for improved PR and Comms activities actually increases. Many make the mistake of thinking PR is essentially about spinning positive messages in good times, when, of course, the real impact of effective PR is most seen and demonstrated during times of crisis and media management around difficult issues which may cause loss of stakeholder faith in an organisation.

So, before you consider cutting your PR and Marketing budget to save on the bottom line…can you really afford to?


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