The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has criticised the Home Office for a lack of transparency in creating a website – On the Move – which claimed to offer migrants a reliable source of information but did not disclose the publisher.
The CIPR will be writing to the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, with our concerns surrounding the creating of websites with no clear author or acknowledgement of government affiliation and with inaccurate information as wholly inappropriate.
A Freedom of Information request made by the PA news agency revealed the Home Office spent £23,200 on a social media campaign with targeted adverts promoting the website in the five months from December 2020 to April 2021.
“Transparency in PR practice is critical to maintaining public trust and confidence in our institutions. That it is why it is so important that those working in the public sector adhere to the highest standards of ethical practice. In this case the Home Office has not done that. The intention of deterring people from risking their lives with people smugglers is laudable but the execution of this campaign has fallen short of the standards we would expect.”CIPR President, Mandy Pearse Chart PR, FCIPR