Award-winning campaign vies for national honour

AN award-winning publicity campaign is vying for honours with the best in Britain.

The Your Community Council initiative took gold in the community category in last year’s PRide Awards in Scotland, run by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

The project – which included a website, posters, leaflets and media relations work – aimed to make West Lothian’s community councils more accessible and accountable to local people.

The publicity campaign is now being pitched against gold winners from other parts of the UK in the CIPR President’s Grand Prix. A national awards ceremony will be held in Newcastle on May 11.

The local entry was devised by Bo’ness-based consultancy The PR Store, in conjunction with West Lothian Association of Community Councils. At the core is the website  www.yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk

Jean Flynn, the acting chair of the Association of Community Councils, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be considered for this national award. To win gold in Scotland was fantastic, and it would be great to have a chance of a UK title.

“But far more important has been the success of the campaign locally. Nearly all community councils in West Lothian are now using the web and PR techniques to make themselves more accessible and accountable to local people.”

She added that the award-winning campaign – which has also been praised by First Minister Jack McConnell – would not have happened without the support of The PR Store, which masterminded the project, and its web partner Oldhand Media.

“Both firms did much of their work free of charge, and gave us lots of professional ideas to promote ourselves,” said Jean. “Adrian Mahoney from The PR Store became so interested, he joined his own community council. I think Bo’ness Community Council is very lucky to have someone with his professional expertise on their committee. His skills are a real asset to any organisation.”

Jacqueline Morison, the secretary of Linlithgow Bridge Community Council, said: “The Association’s award-winning campaign has helped local community councils and I wish them well in the national competition.”

CIPR President Tony Bradley said: “Having been judged the best in their region, the CIPR PRide Awards gold winners now have the opportunity to see if they are the best in the UK and to share best practice with others who are at the top of their game.”

Across the UK, there were 1000 entries for PRide Awards in 11 participating nations and regions. Twelve per cent of entries across the UK were judged worthy of a gold award.

In the Scottish awards, announced last October, other local winners included Falkirk Council, which took a silver honour.

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For more information, please contact Jean Flynn on 01506 444055
Or Adrian Mahoney, The PR Store, on 01506 823714

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