Communications News
Charity Insight Contributor
Published 16 May 2011

More than a third of senior communications officers working in the charity sector feel

neglected by their organisation, according to a new report by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations voluntary sector group, Fifth Estate.

Additionally, it found that 92 per cent of the 120 senior PR and communications staff which responded to the survey felt they were not involved in strategic decision-making, with 65 per cent believing this hindered their ability to do their jobs properly. For example, being kept unaware of risk situations meant they would not be able to respond effectively to crisis PR which in turn had the potential to damage the reputation of their organisation.

"In organisations where stakeholder engagement is paramount, underestimating the strategic role public relations has to play is very short-sighted. It is disappointing to see the lack of involvement PR professionals have in strategic decision making," said Gill Dandy, chair of the Fifth Estate Group.

The report, Get Heard, also indicated that the chief executive was vital in making communications staff feel appreciated. More than three quarters (78 per cent) of those who feel they are being listened to attribute it to the chief executive understanding the importance of communications. Accordingly, 83 per cent of those who feel under-acknowledged blame their CEO's lack of understanding of communications and the role it plays in their organisation.

"Over the next few years charities will need to be more effective and efficient than ever. This will only happen if senior managers and communications teams work together and adopt a much more strategic and creative approach, based on mutual respect and support," said Louise Morris, managing director of Amazon PR, which worked with Fifth Estate on the research.

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