In the public sector we often use the phrase ‘partnership working’ and we use it so much that it has lost its meaning. For anyone in communication roles it usually means telling another agency about something you are doing or possibly letting them put a quote in your story.
The events in Manchester on 22 May and all the days that have followed have given partner working a heart and soul. In the midst of trauma, tragedy and heartbreak any boundaries between agencies were broken down. As communicators we all worked together to help all those affected. We each had our area of expertise but it didn’t matter whether you were a local government communicator, an NHS communicator or a police communicator we had a joint aim of support and recovery.
It was poignant today for me to be stood alongside Jen Green from Manchester City Council and Claire Norman from NHS and Greater Manchester Combined Authority office to talk about how we all responded to the terror attack. We all played our part and came together to ensure a consistent, comprehensive and clear response.
As many have said it was a joint response to a very personal story. Personal for those affected, for us, for our organisations and for the city. In the worst of times things were made a little easier because we know each other, trust each other and have mutual respect.
The work in the immediate aftermath and even now almost six months on was the essence of real partnership working. All coming together to help and support in whatever way was necessary.
I was privileged to have the opportunity today at the LGComms communication academy to share the microphone with two amazing communicators. It was a joint response after the attack and a joint talk today. Absolutely this was the true essence of real partnership working.