It seems that you aren’t anybody unless your reputation is managed with PR and spin these days, and even the authorities that deal with our rubbish are concerned with having a sparkling clean image.
The North London Waste Authority isn’t content being the rather ugly sounding wall flower of disposal agencies in the capital and is clearly set to thrust itself into the limelight. A quick google and it seems they’re in the process of having a new website built (possibly to replace this one, possibly as well as…), and sure enough their reputation will soon be managed by a media expert:
£42,258 - £44,910
The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) arranges the disposal of waste and promotes waste minimisation and recycling in seven North London boroughs. This new post will report directly to the Managing Director and will be part of a strategic team developing a new vision for the authority.
Your role will be to provide strategic communications advice to the Managing Director, senior managers and NLWA members. You will develop and deliver the outcomes in the NLWA’s communications strategy, including public affairs, as well as build and maintain strong working relationships with partner organisations and stakeholder groups. You will also manage the Media and Marketing Officer.
• Ability to provide strategic communications advice to senior managers and councillors
• Able to devise, deliver and evaluate comprehensive communications and marketing strategies, including public affairs, in large, complex organisations
• Excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to present in formal, informal and public settings
• Able to work to the highest standards, demonstrating resilience to pressure and retaining due professionalism at all times
• Excellent organisational, project management and financial management skills
• Ability to negotiate and network effectively to develop productive relationships with a diverse range of individuals and groups
• Proven experience in a similar role with a track record of developing and implementing communication and marketing plans, campaigns and projects to tight deadlines and within budget”
Camden Council are hiring for this one on behalf of the NLWA who in turn manage waste on behalf of seven London councils. Applicants must report to Camden’s Head of Communications, Paul Inglefield, who may be the very man who came up with some of the inspirational lines under the title ‘Additional Information’ (thankfully not misleadingly labelled ‘useful information’). One of these says “we work together” whilst another pleads “we find better and cheaper ways”, which surely prompts the response, “well if a bin collection service needs PR, could this not have been done between the seven authorities who already have fairly sizeable publicity departments, rather than arbitrarily hiring yet another middle-manager?”.
Within the public sector, the line on hiring communications managers seems to go, ‘if it exists, and it could potentially cock-up, hire a publicity expert’. At the very least these people can make agencies/councils/departments look shiny and perfect until any disaster arises, and then they can shut the stable doors after the horses have bolted and proceed to mop up.
The only trouble is this is a pretty costly luxury for taxpayers, who’d prefer to just have smooth running public services to begin with, and see this money invested elsewhere.