Local government COVID-19 crisis comms unit formed by Social and Bradshaw Advisory

Local government COVID-19 crisis comms unit formed by Social and Bradshaw Advisory

Social, the integrated communications agency, and strategic communications specialists Bradshaw Advisory, have teamed up to help the local government sector with a range of crisis communications services.

As organisations across the UK are working overtime to develop communication management plans to respond to the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, a community response is needed to support organisations to speak to their communities, stakeholders and staff.

With the cancellation of local elections, closure of schools and businesses and the threat posed to local care homes, local authorities across the UK are confronted with several challenges. Responding to concerns raised by both residents and staff involves the continual monitoring of government updates and release of timely responses. This partnership understands the challenge this poses for an organisation that is trying to implement ongoing changes and this is why they want to help with operational support, issuing timely and accurate information.

Both agencies have direct experience of managing communications during regional and national crisis situations, with an understanding of the pressures that come with working in this environment. The team is made up of ex-journalists, seasoned PR professionals and political experts connected to the heart of government.

With extensive experience in the social housing sector, Social has provided an out-of-hours press office service and crisis communications support for several major housing associations. In addition, the team has expertise in HMG’s crisis communications and response to multiple domestic and international crises, including leading crisis comms teams in Whitehall and overseas.

John Quinton-Barber, Founder and Chief Executive of Social, said: “As a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, we have seen first-hand where our clients need help and empathise with communications professionals who are working in these volatile and fragile times. There is a lot of fear and misunderstanding out there, and our agile team are experienced in quickly helping clients to put strategies in place which will ensure business as usual during these testing times. We’re already working alongside the C-suite and in-house teams, complementing their existing departments and adding vital additional support in getting the right messages out to their networks.”

Tom Lees, Managing Director of Bradshaw Advisory, commented: “We understand that organisations and businesses are faced with many operational challenges at the moment — and it’s at this time that the flow of clear and accurate information to internal and external audiences is critically important. Collectively we have worked in many different crisis situations and have developed the specialist experience that we are now deploying to support our clients to tackle the pandemic.”

Social has experience working across public and private sectors including working with local authorities in Bath and North East Somerset, Bradford, Cambridge, Kirklees, Leeds, Middlesex, Tameside and York. The agency also has extensive experience working across the housing sector Barratt Homes, Knowsley Housing Trust, Laurus Homes, McTaggart and Mickel and United Communities Housing Association.

Tom is a recognised expert in reputation management, corporate and political communications, and running high-impact campaigns.

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