Business Eye: Challenge is to maintain trust

Alex Pratt
Alex Pratt
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Is everything that we grew up being able to rely upon and trust collapsing around us in heap of lost confidence and incredulity?

It should be no surprise that there could be a new scandal involving the banks, but the real-life plots of the latest fiascos do seem incredible

Can it really be true that RBS went out of its way to bankrupt viable UK businesses in order to get its hands on their assets? You would think not, but if the Chairman of one of our supposedly more reliable banking institutions, the Co-op turns out not only to have had no serious experience of banking, but also allegedly to have ben fiddling expenses and taking drugs, while all the while preaching as a man of God, anything is possible.

Direct from the pages of a Jeffrey Archer plot comes the news that TV icon, chef and Goddess Nigella Lawson, has moved beyond divorce and wife-beating allegations to becoming the victim of an alleged blackmail scam by her own staff to the tune of over half a million quid, because of her alleged addiction to cocaine. Who’d have thunk it?

The Plebgate affair which destroyed the Ministerial career of Tory MP Andrew Mitchell has seen off the comforting Dixon of Dock Green image of the police officer now that several senior plods have been charged with misconduct in Public Office over the affair.

So I guess it should have been no surprise that I read in the Bucks Herald recently of the prospect of a backlash against charities due to their newly adopted more corporate ways of working. This is highly pertinent in Bucks as we have more charities per had of population than any other County, including such marvellous institutions as Hearing Dogs for the Deaf where my son has been volunteering of late, and the Bucks Foundation which gives out many much needed grants to people that make such a huge difference to lives at the coalface.

The PR challenge for charities is how to be both efficient and effective without appearing too corporate, and how to build trust and transparency with the community without snow-flaking us with newsletters? The news that 30 employees in the Disasters Emergency Committee’s 14 member charities, now earn above £100,000 is no reason to question the motives and impact of these organisations and certainly not those of our own local engines for good in this world.