I am absolutely delighted to host this blog from public relations advisor and fundraiser Gemma Pettman.
Gemma has previously worked within police corporate communications and a large police charity, but now runs her own company helping charities to raise their profile and increase their income.
Gemma has very kindly given the Red Button Project the benefit of her experience and offers her view on how the police might better communicate with the public at a time when it seems they can’t do anything right.
Over the last few days the issue of what cuts to police budgets might mean has finally gained some traction in the media.
First we had Merseyside CC Sir Jon Murphy speaking plainly and honestly about what the re-structure of the force would look like:
“We will not deliver as good as service as we have done before. In some instances it will take us longer to get there. In some cases we won’t turn up. That’s an inevitable consequence of having less people to do more work.”
Things were different when I joined. Well, they were. This was back in 1994, I was a boy. I didn’t have the first damn clue what I was letting myself in for. I had wanted to be a policeman since I sat staring in awe at the copper stood in full Number 1 uniform lining the route of the Queen’s Jubilee tour in 1977. I was 3.
“What’s that medal for?” asked my father pointing at the Long Service and Good Conduct medal proudly displayed on his chest.
“Not getting found out.” he replied with a wink.
Last week, the Police Federation of England and Wales met for their annual conference in Bournemouth. The previous year, delegates experienced a “hair dryer” moment as the Home Secretary unleashed a speech so powerful and hurtful that those of us in that auditorium were simply blown away.
There was much anticipation that there would be more of the same this year but what played out was far more subtle.
There is much anticipation here in Bournemouth over the contents of the keynote speeches of the Police Federation Chairman, Steve White and the Home Secretary, Theresa May.
Whereas Mr White has already given the press some clue as to what will be in his speech, Mrs May, as last year, has declined to give anyone (including Mr White) any form of hint of what she will say.