Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Quick update

Not being a regular on Cllr Deirdre Alden's blog-that-isn't-a-blog, I missed her riposte to my earlier post on her complaints about the council deigning to communicate with residents over a major change to a crucial service. 
Meanwhile I see a Birmingham Labour blogger is moaning because I complained about the amount of money the Labour Council has spent advertising something which is going to happen anyway.
The tunnel closures are happening anyway, but Cllr Alden didn't think the Highways team had publicised it enough - something upon which we are agreed, as a matter of fact. 

Then we turn to her real complaint:
my real complaint is the fact the Council is not just giving people instructions about the changes, but has also hired a PR company which specialises in “crisis media advice”.
It is certainly true that Dyson Media - run by the former Birmingham Mail editor and highly experienced journalist, Steve Dyson - provides crisis media advice. Many PR firms offer that service, because it is an additional service not necessarily within the competence of a communications team that handles day to day routine information. It isn't all he does. 

What I don't understand is why it is so wrong for a Labour council to spend money with Dyson Media - a firm with specialist knowledge and insights into our metropolitan area - but Cllr Alden didn't complain in public when the previous administration did exactly that. Dyson Media were paid over £5k in one month in 2010, back when the Tories and the LibDems were running the council. 

There's even a picture of Steve with a familiar face as a satisfied customer. The name currently eludes me.

Although providing crisis management advice to repair the image of the Lib Dems might be a challenge too far, even for a man of his talents.