TA enlists an agency in face of budget cuts

The Territorial Army (TA), which is mainly staffed by part-time volunteers, is on the verge of hiring an agency on a retained basis to help promote its role within the armed forces.

The Territorial Army (TA), which is mainly staffed by part-time

volunteers, is on the verge of hiring an agency on a retained basis to

help promote its role within the armed forces.



Following a massive cost- cutting exercise by the Ministry of Defence,

announced during Gordon Brown’s spending review last month, the TA is to

see its volunteer headcount reduced from 55,000 to 40,000 over an

undefined period. In addition, the force has a small core of full time

staff.



The proposed cuts have stirred up protests across the country as local

TA units face the axe. Army PR spokesman Colonel David Bone said: ’It is

in our interest to ensure that the Territorial Army remains a vital part

of the armed forces.’



The TA has worked with PR agencies on a project basis before, but there

is no incumbent agency for this account. The pitch is being tendered

through the Central Office of Information. This year the CoI launched a

roster of 26 PR agencies which it can ask to pitch for work on behalf of

other Government departments and agencies.



The Territorial Army’s agency will have a wide brief to advise generally

on issues affecting the organisation.



The TA is divided into 14 regional organisations, some of which retain

local PR agencies. Within the Ministry of Defence, PR is handled by the

press office, which reports to information strategy and news director

Oona Muirhead, and the Army’s own PR directorate, headed by brigadier

Robert Gordon.



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