Richard Stokoe leaves Brent Council and swaps PR industry for academia

Outspoken PR head Richard Stokoe is leaving his role at Brent Council and stepping away from the industry.

Richard Stokoe: leaving Brent Council
Richard Stokoe: leaving Brent Council

Stokoe was brought in at Brent last year as interim head of media and external relations and is leaving the role having overseen major changes at the council’s comms team. 

He will be replaced on an interim basis by Westbury Associates founder Milly Camley, and is returning to university to study a Masters degree in disaster management for environmental hazards.

Stokoe, who is leaving the council today following the local election count, told PRWeek he was "jealous of whoever takes over" at Brent. 

The council's comms restructure is set to be completed this summer and will see the arrival of Carl Holloway from Preston City Council as media manager.

A new corporate comms manager will be announced shortly alongside a string of other roles, with the search for a permanent comms head also taking place. 

"We’ve now got a wonderful team coming in who want to do good things for the borough, the council and themselves," said Stokoe.

The PRWeek columnist last year caused controversy after making himself redundant from his post at London Fire Brigade and calling on other comms heads to do the same. 

However, he argued that his degree, which will specifically look at tornados, volcanoes and bush fires, will continue his focus on "comms with a public ethos".

"I’ve had 15 years on the political side of PR, and it’s time to take a step back from the front line and look at things from a different perspective," he said.

"It is communication in its purest form. It’s a form of PR that could save lives in a way that’s not been done before, using digital techniques that will have a demonstrable impact, not just in metrics but in terms of stopping someone dying."

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