Using evidence in marketing and communications is a favourite area for me. It’s only by using real evidence that we can genuinely demonstrate the impact of public sector communications and marketing activities.
That’s why I really like the regular national research undertaken by LGinsight – it provides a good national snapshot for local government communicators and helps provide good context to local trends (evidenced through research, of course) that different councils will be experiencing.
Neil Wholey sums up some of the highlights as part of his strong analysis of what the data tells us:
In the absence of any substantial criticism in the media (or from Government) the reputation of local government appears strong. Two thirds (64%) of British adults think that their local council has received either positive or neutral coverage from the media in the last few months, up from 61% in June 2011. Perceptions of pos/neutral coverage of local councils across the country have gone from 41% to 49% at the same time. The polling from LGinsight/Populus highlights how councils are engaging with residents and continuing to deliver high quality services. But, as we approach the end of the year there are indications that this could be the calm before the storm.
In January 2011 underneath a mound of snow and ice the reputation of local government fell. Satisfaction with how they were running local areas fell to 62% as services such as refuse collection suffered. By September reputation has rebuilt to 72% satisfaction, in line with the previous month, built on satisfaction with refuse collection increasing from 73% to 84% and street cleansing from 67% to 77%. Throughout this period the proportion of people feeling informed about the services and benefits provided by their council has gone from 54% to 59%. This shows that despite the new local government publicity code councils are still able to communicate with their residents and drive an improved reputation.