Public relations has been evolving since at least the early 1900’s. For well over a century this contemporary multifaceted disciplineÂ enraptured followers wanting to delve deeper into the strategic management skills required for applied public relations.
‘Barclays New Futures’
One of the biggest commercial educational sponsorships to date in the UK is the Barclays New Futures initiative, sponsored by Barclays Bank. The New Futures scheme is designed to help young people in secondary education participate in community work and to encourage the training of socially useful skills among the young.
The initiative is of five years duration and makes available a total of £1m a year to successful applications received from schools to address issues such as truancy, care in the community, anorexia, bullying, vandalism, and alcohol and drug abuse. The main emphasis of the scheme is to provide professional support to teachers in implementing these schemes in order to avoid any potential controvert arising from a commercial sponsor being perceived as impelling teachers to carry out additional unpaid work.
The involvement of Barclays Bank as sponsors of the scheme (with a sponsorship team from the sponsorship consultant Kellaway) arose from a review of Barclays’ sponsorship activity and the inclusion of an explicit clause on social responsibility in the corporate mission statement. The Barclays New Futures initiative aims to emphasise Barclays’ role as a supporter of community-based social action projects and enhance the bank’s image as a socially responsible company. Initial results for Barclays appear to be encouraging with numerous favourable stories in national and regional print and broadcast media, with the Barclays involvement normally made clear in any editorial coverage.