The PRCA has issued a response to Home Secretary Priti Patel’s recent comment on cutting social media manager jobs in the public sector.
Francis Ingham MPRCA, Director General, PRCA said: “Whether it’s in providing information on criminal activity or offering updates during a crisis, a clear and concise communications strategy within the public sector is vital to ensuring public safety. Social media opens a much-needed and often-used channel between the police and the public, a channel that many would suffer from if removed.”
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has also defended the importance of public sector communications after the Home Secretary, Priti Patel MP described public engagement roles in the police force as “unnecessary” and “a waste of tax payers’ money”.
Public relations and communications professionals in the police force play an invaluable role in frontline services. Their work directly supports victims of crime and is particularly crucial for locating offenders. Public engagement – including social media communication – ensures citizens are kept aware and informed of public safety measures.
It was for this reason that the CIPR was approached by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure – part of MI5 – earlier this year to deliver best practice guidance for communications professionals employed by organisations vulnerable to terrorist attacks.
The Home Secretary’s comments are naïve and ill considered. They do a disservice to the excellent work undertaken by communications professionals in the police force. Their work keeps us safe. We should recognise their contribution and appreciate the impact they have on enabling and delivering frontline services. The comments are particularly disappointing given the Home Secretary’s background in public relations. More than most, she should be aware of the importance of professional communications.
Emma Leech Found.Chart.PR FCIPR, CIPR President