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Getting your message across Ben Page Chairman Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute

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2 Getting your message across Ben Page Chairman Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute

3 Our reputation as institutions is lower than that of many of the services we deliver

4 Describing local government

5 If local government was an animal – even now “By the way they shove their head in the sand” “I thought of a sloth. It’s just that they go about things very slowly”

6 Only one in twenty know much about you …

7 Massive confusion over your responsibilities …

8 Fewer than half know which party is in charge

9 Only one in fourteen know who the leader of their council is

10 Most important drivers of reputation among local residents

11 Value for money?

12 Council tax  Seasonal media reporting of levels of rises has an effect (council tax to soar 300% in ‘nice areas’)  Convince me I’m getting value for money (58% of Londoners disagree their LA provides VFM)

13 Perceived VFM really matters

14 But not actual council tax

15 Be obsessed about liveability


17 Get your message across?

18 Clarity about what you provide matters

19 To be good at CPA, make sure comms are effective …

20 No top performing councils are poor communicators

21 And do you agree on what your message is?

22 Think about what your relationship is with the media...

23 They’re often out to get local government...

24 But we often help them



27 Need a strong brand  What do you want to be famous for?

28  Local schools are very good - in fact it’s why we moved here...

29 The sign says … Cromer Road JMI School Headteacher: Mrs P Jones

30  Off to the library. It has won award for being a good service, but …

31 Where is the logo to link this with the council??

32 Next I go to the park





37 At last!! A council logo


39 On my way home, I see an abandoned car

40 June Notice from the police

41 One month later …

42 Progress!! A notice from the council

43 What on earth is in here??

44 Is this yours?

45 We assume these are nothing to do with you

46 A great service but why aren’t you getting the credit?


48 Despite challenges over visibility, they do like you …

49 Over two in five think that councillors do a good job...

50 Politicians’ motives

51 What about councillors’motives?

52 Conclusions  Despite the rise of managerialism, politicians matter as much as ever  But huge efforts and new style needed if you want change  Style of politics - try fighting in private if possible!  Drawing attention to complaints/allegations does not help  No sign that public are happier with local government  Look at visibility of services and branding  Agree what you want to be famous for – and stick with it

53 Thanks

54 Discussion and questions

55 Making an impact? Chair:Glenys Stacey Chief Executive The Standards Board for England Speakers:Dr Richard Cowell University of Cardiff Sir Christopher Kelly Committee on Standards in Public Life Ben Page Ipsos MORI


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