Publicity code consultation underway

SimonGeneral

As I blogged on Tuesday, the government has launched its consultation on the local authority publicity code – one of the rulebooks that local authority communications and marketing are governed by.

The much trailed limit on how often councils can publish newspapers or magazines is in there – proposing to restrict such publications to four times a year. The ban on councils employing lobbying firms is there too.

The proposed code also picks up on internet based content, especially third party content like blog comments, videos and images. It provides some additional clarity on how councils should approach these, although as always at this stage there’s a lot of detail still to emerge and be discussed.

At the core of the proposed code are a number of principles for local authority publicity:

Publicity must be lawful, cost effective, objective, even-handed, appropriate, have regard to equality and diversity and be issued with care during periods of heightened sensitivity

The consultation ends on 10 November and the new rules are expected to come into force on 1 January 2011 – which means while this is still a consultation, the broad direction it takes needs to be factored into communications and marketing planning for 2011 right now.

The information about the consultation is online here and the proposals can also be seen below: