As an interesting footnote to my post below about the need for the Metropolitan Police to make significant changes to its organisational communications culture the force's Director of Public Affairs and Corporate Communications, Dick Fedorcio, is interviewed in this week's PR Week.
From my reading and expert opinion form others Fedorcio's comments indicate that the Met is unable or unwilling to make the real changes necessary.
In a telling statement, Fedorcio, tells PR Week that he won't be looking to run a blogger engagement programme any time soon as:
manipulate people, it would raise a question about how that reduced our
integrity. To be leaning on someone to say "give us a good blog" starts
to raise some ethical issues."
This is a damning insight into the Met's current communications practice as it suggests that its media strategy is built on manipulation.
Commenting on the interview, Diffusion's Ivan Ristic, adds his expert comment that when an organisation has a "reputation of stonewalling" it "makes it difficult
in a social marketing context." Too true. You need to tell your story as openly as possible and engage and empower others to help tell your story.
However, while what Ivan says is correct I disagree with his reading of the situation. The Met does not have a reputation to stonewall – at least in the G20/Tomlinson context.
Here the Met/City police and IPCC were extremely proactive in issuing media releases and briefings to frame the story based on what has emerged as an untrue account of events.
Admitedly organisational change isn't easy and takes time and resources – something Fedorcio claims is currently lacking. But stepping into the social media space without evening considering what adaptions you need to make to your corporate communications strategy is setting yourself up to fail – or at least be burned very publicly before you get your strategy right.
I wonder if Dick or the Met will ever monitor this psot and respond?