PUBLIC SECT0R: Swansea's comms chief set to mount PR overhaul

Swansea City and County Council's first head of communications Lee Wenham is planning a major overhaul of PR.

Wenham joined this week from Cardiff-based Western Mail, where he was assistant editor, and has immediately pledged reform of all communications efforts.

A review has now started which Wenham hopes to conclude within three weeks. His proposals on a new strategy and structure will then go to senior officers within the directorate of legal and administration services, headed by director Julie James, to whom Wenham reports.

The head of communications role and an overhaul of communications were called for in an Improvement and Development Agency report on the function in January.

Wenham said: 'I will be looking at the whole area, both externally and internally.

'Swansea hasn't had a great media profile in recent years, within Wales and beyond, and that needs to change.'

Extra staff hires will be considered to bolster the six-strong team as well as the creation of specialist internal communications and e-government roles.

Ways of promoting the area's investment potential to the business community are also key.

Since the IDeA report, which highlighted the need to improve internal comms, changes to communications have included moving the function from the CEO's office into the legal and admin section.

The first community publication, the monthly Swansea Leader, is also now available.

Senior PRO Helen Keatley, who moved to a project manager role within the development department six months ago, previously led communications efforts.

Developments in the area to be the subject of promotional campaigning include the building of the 20,000-seat Morfa Stadium as the home of Swansea Rugby Football Club and Swansea City Football Club.

Wenham had been with the Western Mail for seven years, first as a senior reporter and later taking roles as deputy news editor and head of content.

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