Posted by: PR@leedsmet | June 16, 2011

Is comms key to community?

MSc student Adrian Winterburn asks if PR practitioners hold the key to successful community empowerment in this guest post on Simon Wakeman’s public sector PR blog.

So how do we get through to our residents? How do we empower them? How can we convince residents that they can trust us? But also how can we convince senior managers that we, as communicators, need a place on that decision-making table? Because if we are the ones leading on engaging our residents, then we have the evidence, and skills to advice the senior managers how their decisions will be received by residents.

And amid all this confusion there is this other big trend– social media. Surely an efficient way of engaging with masses of numbers? Well not exactly. Sure it has the potential; but it doesn’t have the power to change organisational culture or to convince people to trust their council? Or does it?

Adrian is calling for participants to help with his dissertation research:

I am looking for volunteers who work for a local council in a communications role. It doesn’t matter if you are in a management or officer position, just as long as you have opinions on the issues discussed above. You will take part in an online discussion forum, focussing on four topics relating to the issues discussed above. You will need to make at least one contribution to each discussion. Research will take place over two weeks, and I predict that the time commitment will be one hour per week.

If you can help me with my research please get in touch by emailing me at or tweet me @adie_winterburn

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