PUBLIC SECT0R: Hertfordshire Council in £30,000 rebrand

A £30,000 rebranding of Hertfordshire County Council has been unveiled.

PR chiefs at the council used the IPR Local government conference to launch the newly designed brand, the first time the council has had a singular brand identity.

However the design, of a hart on a hill above the word Hertfordshire is not very different from its current central corporate logo, also of a hart but instead with the full council name.

Head of corporate communications James Odling-Smee denies that the £30,000 in rebranding development costs, has effectively been spent on the removal of just two words 'county' and 'council' from an existing corporate logo.

He said: 'The visual identity is not just a logo. It involves much more such as use of photography and greater use of colour. This will be used across the council instead of each area having it's own identity.'

The new brand will begin rolling out on 1 October gradually across services, the first rebranding being for the highways unit, including the new identity on more than 100 newly commissioned vehicles.

Councillors will review the effectiveness of the single brand in 12 months time. If approved this could result in a 'big money spend on rebranding', according to Odling-Smee.

The rebranding has been co-ordinated by the council's head of environment communications Seth Brook and with support from specialist agency FourIV, whose clients have included Harvey Nicholls.

It also follows a council- wide restructure, including a revamp of the communications function.

Changes to comms this year have included bolstering the central PR team from three to six and a new pay and career structure.

The unveiling of Hertfordshire's brand identity was part of a conference session on brand management. Other sessions included a show-case, hosted by PRWeek editor Kate Nicholas, on councils that have gained positive national coverage.

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