So, you want my job? Head of news at the Competition and Markets Authority

PRWeek takes a sidelong look at recruitment in public sector comms. Do you fancy Vikki Buxton-Helyer's job as head of news & digital at the Competition and Markets Authority?

Vikki Buxton-Helyer knows how far you travel to shop at Tesco
Vikki Buxton-Helyer knows how far you travel to shop at Tesco

Name:
Vikki Buxton-Helyer

Job:
Head of news & digital at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)

Starting salary/salary band for the job?
£58,946 - £66,012

What qualifications do you need?
A degree in a relevant subject like communications, journalism or public relations

What level of experience do you need?
The job ad asked for ‘significant’ experience in leadership, media management and digital communications

Is previous experience in a public sector comms role necessary/useful?
It’s certainly useful. We may be independent, but you do liaise with a number of Government departments and it helps to understand the way they work. I’ve spent most of my career in Whitehall comms and definitely found it beneficial. But colleagues have joined from a range of backgrounds, including the private and voluntary sectors.

What are the main day-to-day challenges?
Time and money. The range of work we cover is huge – and fascinating – but resources aren’t growing in government, so balancing wringing the most out of every opportunity against the resources available can be a challenge. But we always manage it.

What is the best part of the job?
That we look at anything and everything across the UK’s economy. That means one day we can be imposing a multi-million-pound fine on companies for excessive price hikes on life-saving drugs or communicating our view of a merger between firms that make ear tags for sheep, and the next shepherding a spokesperson around the breakfast broadcasters to launch an investigation into online gambling sites or a study into whether care homes are working for the elderly .

What is the most unusual fact you know as a result of this job?
A colleague just told me polar bears are left-pawed and ants fall over to the right when drunk... I can’t personally attest to either of these being true, however. I also know rather more than I thought I would about how far people travel to shop at Tesco, thanks to our mergers work.

If you get an interview, do say?
I’ve got loads of ideas and can’t wait to get cracking.

If you get an interview, don’t say?
I like to work on one project at a time, to the exclusion of all others.

If you’re good at this job you might also be well-suited to?
Plate-spinning! But I think most comms people would say something like that.

Please note: Interviewees for 'So, you want my job' are not leaving their current role


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