Benlowndes

a perspective on PR in social housing and regeneration

Tag Archives: We Love Local Government

Links I like 12.06.26

What a wonderful world (of local government blogs and blogging) – We Love Local Government
This feels like a shameless plug, but what’s a blog for if you can’t self-promote? I was delighted to be mentioned yesterday in We Love Local Government’s excellent round-up of blogs they deemed to be of interest to the sector. The good folk at WLLG were clearly aware of my lack of posts during Euro 2012 when stating that the blog was worth a peek ‘every now and again’. It’s good to be noticed though. The other blogs are well worth a read by the way. 

 

 

Local government defends Taxpayers’ Alliance (honestly)

This in an unexpected post on the We Love Local Government blog which is worth sharing; someone from the sector speaking out in favour of one of its sternest critics. The points made, around the need for openness, transparency and explaining clearly the reasons why the public sector funds particular services, are well put. If taken up, some of the points made by the Taxpayers’ Alliance could be rebutted more effectively.

I’ll be interested to see the debate which follows.

Freedom of Information, or ‘freedom to fish’?

I’d like to share with you two views on our Freedom of Information legislation, which is the subject of some serious discussions about its future use.

The Guardian has today published a leader in defence of the Freedom of Information Act, saying that any proposed move to restrict its application would be ‘a retrograde step’.

This is in response to Parliamentary considerations on possible reform of the Act and mentions a report from the Ministry of Justice into the volume of requests dealt with by Government departments. It’s interesting that the leader states that the report suggests dealing with FoI requests is ‘increasingly onerous’, when no such language is used in the document.

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Lots of love for local government

I was recently asked by the We Love Local Government team to supply them with a tweet about why I ‘love’ the sector for a post they were putting together to mark the anniversary of their blog.

I was flattered to be asked and duly set about putting my thoughts into a tweet for them to use in a round-up of opinions from the sector and those who work with it (as I do). It was not easy, not least because there are things I don’t like about local government, particularly where communication with the public is concerned. Sometimes the bureaucratic, jargon heavy, flat-footed approach where a quick, clear and simple response would do is cause for frustration rather than adoration.

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Links I like 11.10.22

‘Engagement’: fashionable yet bankrupt – Canalside View
Martin Weigel writes at length about the industry-wide misuse of the term ‘engagement’ and hits the nail squarely on the head a number of times. The problems he cites in his nine ‘bad habits’ of engagement highlight his main point that the phrase has become so widely used, yet without any common definition or metrics to back it up, that it has come to mean everything and nothing. It’s well-considered, insightful and well worth a read.

You know you’ve blogged too long about local government when – We Love Local Government
Congratulations to the team behind this blog, who recently had their 100,000th visitor and are preparing a post to mark its anniversary soon (as I understand). This is a republication of an earlier post, which found its way into The Guardian, but is linked here because it makes a particularly apt ‘engagement’ point of its own.

‘You know you’ve worked in Local Government for too long when: you see chatting to the person next to you on the bus as a community engagement exercise.’

Using unnecessary capital letters for words like Local Government is a point I’d like to add to their list, but congratulations to the team for producing a great daily digest of life at a local council.

Links I like 11.10.01

Local Government Oscars – We Love Local Government
I’ve been on the periphery of a couple of entries for the Local Government Chronicle Awards this week, in connection with projects we support. They are fantastic schemes and worthy of recognition. Assembling an award entry can be time consuming and demanding, especially when left to the last minute. Restrictions on photography budgets can make getting high quality up-to-date images to support your entry more difficult. And how many people do you send to the do if you are shortlisted? Done wrong, chasing awards can be decried as a waste of public money. But few people are heard saying that about the winners. This blog post on We Love Local Government sets out some reasons why some awards are worth entering. Others (which will remain nameless) are not worth the hassle.

‘Jargon bin’ awaits for nonsense phrases

A random early morning tweet today has found its way onto a dubious list of bad language. Not swearwords: a ‘jargon bin’ full of corporate nonsense, invented by specialists but used and understood by few people outside their immediate circle.

I should point out that it was not my jargon or even my use of it that was being highlighted. I hate jargon and have cringed at times as it is used to bludgeon a clear message. I was innocently tweeting the contents of an email I received via the Government Communications Network, which asked members whether they had an Employee Value Proposition (their caps).

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Why working as a council PR means taking a vow of silence

An entertaining post from a frustrated PR has appeared on the We Love Local Government blog. The poster (who is, of course, anonymous) writes about the culture shock of moving from the private sector to the febrile atmosphere of a local council in 2011. It’s a good read. But, given the complaints about the politically neutral nature of the post, I wonder if the correspondent is in the right job?

Why working as a council PR means taking a vow of silence As regular readers of our blog will know, we love a guest post; especially one written by someone who works in a part of local government we have never worked in. Today is one of those days with a post from a self-described “local government PR” who argues that leaving the private sector and joining local government also means giving up your right to have any opinions at all. If you would like to submit a guest post please drop us a line at welov … Read More

via We Love Local Government

In defence of the Pravda (sort of)

The excellent We Love Local Government blog has just posted ‘in defence of the Pravda’ (tabloid-speak for council newspapers). It actually started more like an attack, but read on and it highlights the fact that there are actually some good and some bad council newsletters. And the decent ones are valued by their residents.

I’ve blogged about this issue recently, making similar points. They key point that councils need to demonstrate is whether residents value the newsletters they produce. Much of the research I have seen in my previous job suggests that they do.

In defence of the Pravda As regular readers will know, the WLLG team are made up of a number of individuals from all over local government, with a number of differing roles, ideas and opinions.  Often we have similar outlooks on things, and certainly find the same things baffling, but just like a healthy marriage we don’t always agree on everything. An article we … Read More

via We Love Local Government

Council slogans: missing the mark

A guest on the excellent We Love Local Government blog has written today about spread of council branding (although it actually faces rapid decline as communication activity is frozen across the public sector). While I do not agree with all of it, the key point that local authority brands are often badly managed is hard to dispute. And I said purdah is a grey area..  

Slogan schmogan We welcome guest posts on this blog and after one on Tuesday today we have another. This time our guest poster has a stab at getting to grips with the proliferation of council slogans and brands employed by local authorities. If you’d like to contribute please drop us an e-mail at welovelocalgovernment@gmail.com… But not until you’ … Read More

via We Love Local Government

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