Internal comms drive in pipeline at HMRC

Stephen Hardwick is planning an internal comms drive at HMRC after being handed the top comms role on a permanent basis.

Stephen Hardwick
Stephen Hardwick

Following an extensive selection process, interim corporate comms director Hardwick was chosen to continue in the role permanently.

Hardwick, who has held the interim role since 2011, said he would be focusing on eng-aging people within the deppartment. Emphasising that external comms would remain paramount, he said an internal reorganisation had laid the groundwork for rebalancing it with internal comms.

‘My priority over the next year will be giving as much to internal comms and supporting staff engagement as I do to supporting the external work,’ said Hardwick.

‘It is important to have an engaged workforce in any org-anisation, and especially so when you have staff dealing with millions of pounds’ worth of taxpayers’ money.’

Hardwick took over from Simon MacDowell, who left in 2011 to become a director at Emic Communications.

PRWeek understands that Hardwick was brought in at short notice because it was felt a full recruitment process would have left HMRC without a comms head for too long.

Before joining HMRC, he ran The Altitude Consultancy, which he co-founded.

‘When I joined, the department faced reputational difficulties on two main fronts,’ added Hardwick. ‘First was not delivering the customer service that taxpayers have a right to expect, and second was that its reputation for dealing with large businesses was not good. We were not seen as tough enough on corporate business.’

Recently, HMRC has been in the spotlight over corporate tax minimisation.

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