Borough of Knowsley restructures comms

The Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley has revamped its communications operation following a best value review.

The review, which is still in its final stages, has found that communications is too fragmented and needs more of a strategic focus.

As a result, the central comms team has been restructured to create a 30- to 35-strong unit led by the council’s first head of communications, who reports to assistant chief executive Barbara Spicer.

Nick Kavanagh, assistant director of performance and improvement, said this will bring together all communications functions for the first time.

It is hoped that the restructure will be completed by the end of the year, with the likely outcome being the creation of four arms covering media, marketing, campaigns and internal communications.

Kavanagh said: ‘We’re looking at communications in a strategic way to ensure consistent messages are being communicated as part of an approach that supports the council’s core values.’

He said a key message the council is seeking to communicate to both external audiences and across the borough is the area’s relative economic stability compared with other areas in the North West.

According to figures made available by the council, Knowsley’s economy is growing 1.8 per cent per year, compared with a 0.4 average across Merseyside and 0.9 per cent for the North West.

Kavanagh added that the council is also looking at ways the team can act as an internal consultancy. ‘We are not going to be charging for news releases but there are other elements to the work that we will look at’, he said, adding that the marketing team already operates as a business.

Other options being considered include the creation of a council newspaper or magazine for residents.

The head of comms role is being covered in the interim on a part-time basis by PR consultant Mark Fletcher.

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