Croydon Council’s press office is staffed, we understand, by six people. One or two used to work at the Sadvertiser, so we’re hardly dealing with Pulitzer prize-winning journalism here. The budget for the department is somewhere north of £500,000 per year. This has barely altered from one administration to the next, despite funding cuts and job losses elsewhere.
For this, they have to pump out a few press releases each day, spewing forth approved propaganda apparently on our behalf, spoon-feed stories to their old mates at the Sadvertiser, oversee the council’s presence on the interweb, and to produce a weekly email newsletter, collating links to the latest press releases.
This is called Your Croydon (a misleading title if ever there was one).
Yesterday’s edition of Your Croydon demonstrated a wanton lack of imagination and tact when it came to illustrating the council’s efforts for LGBT history month.
It is a case of “you couldn’t make it up”, so we had to show you with the screengrab at the top of this page.
What is it supposed to represent? It looks like the hand of an older person, seeming to stick a piece of chewing gum in a hole. If anyone else has any better ideas, do let us know.
How, we would ask Nathan Elvery, the council’s CEO, or Hayley Lewis, the shrink without any journalism or comms background who heads up the council’s press operation, is this image meant to represent lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people or the activities planned for the coming month?
And, more importantly, how did anyone pass this for publication on behalf of Croydon Council and the people of our borough?
Thanks to Inside Croydon‘s loyal reader for bringing this to our attention.
It’s not as if there isn’t a logo – suitably rainbow-coloured – for the LGBT month’s activities, which includes films at the David Lean Cinema and a stage show at the Spread Eagle Theatre. The council press office even used the official logo with its press release.
But the email newsletter gets to be seen by many more people. So who was responsible for this latest embarrassing gaffe?
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