Non-job of the week

February 16, 2011 10:59 AM

Does the government measure its success in column inches? That was the question posed by Sir Humphrey Appleby to Jim Hacker in the comedy series, 'Yes Minister!' Hacker replied, "Yes. No. Yes and  no."

It's not just central government who measures its success in column inches. Your council thinks the same way, but - just as in a Whitehall department - it makes sure you have to pay for the privilege of being told how wonderful it is.

Epsom and Ewell Council is looking for a Corporate Communications Officer. This rather grand title pays between £26,828 - £31,556, for 36 hours a week. Here's the job description:
Epsom & Ewell Borough Council is looking for an energetic and motivated PR professional. In this varied and interesting role, you will produce media releases and statements, liaise with the media and external stakeholders, contribute to the writing of external publications, be the initial point of contact for all public relations activities and advise and work on advertising and communications collateral.

You will have proven experience in a similar role, with very good communication and organisational skills and an eye for detail. You will be a team player who can also work on your own initiative to meet agreed deadlines and manage several projects at once.

When you look at the PDF recruitment pack, you will see this as part of the job description:
Developing effective relationships with the media to ensure coverage of all major Council news/events in a favourable and promotional manner.

This council was one of the eight councils who failed to publish spending above £500 on time. If it thought transparency was important, it would have done it sooner, and instead of focusing on protecting frontline services, it would rather spend money on officers whose job it is to put on a positive spin on council decisions.

Although a quick look at the latest accounts (pages 35-36) will tell you that three directors received pay rises of £4,000, plus healthy bonuses in 2009/10. When so many people are seeing their pay frozen, and in many cases cut, perhaps they need someone to ensure the media covers council news in a favourable manner? No matter how much spin you put on senior officers' pay and perks, council taxpayers know they are not getting the best deal.
Does the government measure its success in column inches? That was the question posed by Sir Humphrey Appleby to Jim Hacker in the comedy series, 'Yes Minister!' Hacker replied, "Yes. No. Yes and  no."

It's not just central government who measures its success in column inches. Your council thinks the same way, but - just as in a Whitehall department - it makes sure you have to pay for the privilege of being told how wonderful it is.

Epsom and Ewell Council is looking for a Corporate Communications Officer. This rather grand title pays between £26,828 - £31,556, for 36 hours a week. Here's the job description:
Epsom & Ewell Borough Council is looking for an energetic and motivated PR professional. In this varied and interesting role, you will produce media releases and statements, liaise with the media and external stakeholders, contribute to the writing of external publications, be the initial point of contact for all public relations activities and advise and work on advertising and communications collateral.

You will have proven experience in a similar role, with very good communication and organisational skills and an eye for detail. You will be a team player who can also work on your own initiative to meet agreed deadlines and manage several projects at once.

When you look at the PDF recruitment pack, you will see this as part of the job description:
Developing effective relationships with the media to ensure coverage of all major Council news/events in a favourable and promotional manner.

This council was one of the eight councils who failed to publish spending above £500 on time. If it thought transparency was important, it would have done it sooner, and instead of focusing on protecting frontline services, it would rather spend money on officers whose job it is to put on a positive spin on council decisions.

Although a quick look at the latest accounts (pages 35-36) will tell you that three directors received pay rises of £4,000, plus healthy bonuses in 2009/10. When so many people are seeing their pay frozen, and in many cases cut, perhaps they need someone to ensure the media covers council news in a favourable manner? No matter how much spin you put on senior officers' pay and perks, council taxpayers know they are not getting the best deal.

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