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TRAINING HELP AT HAND FOR COMMUNICATIONS OFFICERS

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The Improvement and Development Agency has today launched a CD that helps councils plan effective public relations ...
The Improvement and Development Agency has today launched a CD that helps councils plan effective public relations campaigns. Entitled Planning an Effective PR Campaign, the disc aims to help communications professionals at a variety of different levels of experiences from junior and trainee communications officers to experienced communications officers and managers.

Communications play a vital role in how councils are perceived. To help local authorities improve in this area, the IDeA CD combines two of IDeA's most successful initiatives, Connecting with Communities and Learning Pool. The Planning an Effective PR Campaign e-learning module helps local authorities to use public relations campaigns more effectively as a tool for communicating with a variety of key stakeholders.

The course on a CD is made up of discrete pieces of learning and exercises, case studies and a 'live' project that the learner completes. Learners can access the course at various levels, so they can either start at the beginning and complete the whole module, or dip in and out when it suits them. The course takes the learner, step by step, through the process of putting together a PR campaign by deconstructing a fictional example in a way that enables the learner to understand how all the component parts fit together. There is also an emphasis on helping the learner to identify target audiences and to view any campaign from the perspective of their audience or audiences as part of the PR planning process.

The CD's benefits are illustrated by, Richard Grice, head of knowledge and information at the IDeA, who says: 'Good communications is a critical issue for local authorities. Local people who feel well informed by their council tend to be more positive about the authority, but we all know that getting communications right is not easy, even if you're a professional. That's why we have produced this CD. It's laid out in bite-size chunks so that it's easy to use and can be called on either to help solve specific problems or to develop and deliver a new campaign from beginning to end. In these increasingly fast moving and media-driven times, it will be a valuable addition to any council manager's toolkit.'

For more information visit www.idea.gov.uk/communications or to order your copy contact ihelp on 020 7296 6880 or email ihelp@idea.go.uk

Note

Learning Pool is an e-learning service for the IDeA that brings authorities together to create and access targeted e-learning for local government and to share existing resources. Learning Pool provides local authorities with access to the right content, tools, training and support to make e-learning work.

www.idea.gov.uk/elearning/

Research done as part of the Connecting with Communities project has found a strong link between residents' satisfaction with their council and how well the council keeps them informed. The CwC project, which is backed by the ODPM, the Local Government Association, the Audit Commission and the IDeA, aims to help local authorities to improve the way they communicate with key stakeholders. This is done in a variety of ways, but mainly through the CwC good practice toolkit that contains information about the Connecting with Communities research project, professional advice, best practice case studies and hundreds of documents available to download for free. To access the CwC good practice toolkit go to www.idea.gov.uk/knowledge

For more information visit http://www.idea.gov.uk/communications/?id=prcampaign

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