Charities that plan to take on greater levels of public service delivery should prepare themselves for much closer scrutiny by the national media, delegates at the Acevo national conference were warned this morning.
Razi Rahman, deputy managing director of communications agency Acpo Worldwide in London, told the conference that the Comprehensive Spending Review and the Big Society agenda did afford real opportunities for voluntary sector organisations to step up and be more involved in public service delivery, but with that would come greater media interest.
“You will face the harsh spotlight from the media,” Rahman (pictured) said. “Don't underestimate the extent to which the fourth estate will be looking to your sector for stories of waste and hypocrisy – how you run your organisations, how much you are paid, the quality of the services you provide, what the cost is to the taxpayer – all these things will be fair game.
“These are changing times, testing times, and how you respond will determine whether the sector will play the full role that we all know it can.”
Rahman had a special warning for charities that engage with the Department for Work and Pensions, where government policies are particularly contentious: “Don't let your organisation become a political football and be used as a cover by government for difficult decisions,” he said.
Clear communication of aims and ambitions is key to maintaining reputations, he advised.