Benlowndes

a perspective on PR in social housing and regeneration

Big Society needs local clarity to counter confusion

Debates about the meaning of the Government’s Big Society plan highlight some fundamental communication challenges for its supporters.

The most pressing obstacle can be seen in recent survey results, which suggest that most people do not understand the what the Big Society stands for. This has led some critics to suggest that it is being used to shield big cuts, rather than represent a policy shift that puts local communities in control of their destinies. The CIPR is currently debating this issue with its members. The dilemma has led the Government-supporting Sun to acknowledge that David Cameron ‘still has a mountain to climb to sell the Big Society to baffled Brits.’

If the public is to understand what is meant by this term, Government needs to explain its principles more clearly and highlight examples of the Big Society at work. David Cameron’s Hugo Young Lecture in 2009, which is thought to have been the public launchpad for the idea, should form the boilerplate against which key messages are shaped and delivered in future.

There also needs to be a realistic tone to these messages, which explains (as Nat Wei, the Government’s ‘Big Society tsar’ says on his blog) that the Big Society won’t be built overnight. This will help rebut claims that the project is already collapsing.

Finally, having the Government drive forward the Big Society agenda seems to fly in the face of the ‘bottom up’, grass-roots activism that it wants to see. If the Big Society and localism are to succeed, local leaders and communicators will need to be firmly in the driving seat.

If this local involvement was more visible, questions about the Big Society may be easier to answer.

One response to “Big Society needs local clarity to counter confusion

  1. Pingback: Housing could hold the key to Big Society comms challenge « Benlowndes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites)

Joe Halewood writes about tenant and welfare wrongs

Barney's Blog

Regeneration, Development, Economics, Cities

FragmeNTs

from the National Trust archaeology team in the Stonehenge & Avebury World Heritage Site

newgatecommunications.wordpress.com/

Insight. Ideas. Influence.

bristoljames.com

a blog about adapting to the digital age

A Cup of Lee

Digital Communications in Ireland

Photos from here, there and everywhere

Pictures I've taken, images I like

Colin Wiles

Commentary on current housing and planning issues

Awesome Screenshot

The Easiest Way To Communicate With Images

Man in the Krowd

Talking Openly, Speaking Privately

4,000 bricks

A place for housing, communications and political debate

AdeCapon's Blog

All things digital, marketing, football and happenings

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

A blog about better decisions, better urban planning and better economics

John Wade

Joining up the planks

Simon Rogers

Data journalism and other curiosities

David Higgerson

Journalism, online, random thinking

Connecting Social Care and Social Media

Sharing resources to promote the use of Social Media in Social Care

John Popham's Random Musings

"Just trying to matter"

The Housing Blog

It's about housing, stupid

Rob Jefferson

Web & Digital Manager for @MyDoncaster | Outdoor adventurer by feet, peddles & paddles

nick atkin

A collection of random views on housing, technology & running

%d bloggers like this: