Fertilisation body to experiment with PR role

The body set up to regulate infertility treatments and human embryo research is to take a more pro-active communications stance in response to growing public curiosity about the subject.

The body set up to regulate infertility treatments and human embryo

research is to take a more pro-active communications stance in response

to growing public curiosity about the subject.



The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is advertising for its

first director of communications to spearhead a new PR strategy. In the

longer term it aims to hire a consultancy.



The authority has been thrust into the media spotlight over issues

including frozen embryo storage and its initial refusal to allow Diane

Blood to export her dead husband’s sperm, which was overturned by the

Court of Appeal. The recent debate about the ethics of human cloning is

also indirectly related to its work.



Two years ago the HFEA brought in consultancy Pearce Lee to advise on a

coherent strategy but little action has been taken owing to budgetary

restraints. Nevertheless the authority’s escalating media profile has

heightened the need to bolster its PR resource.



The HFEA is offering a salary of #25,000 for the new position. It is the

first time it has looked externally for a public relations

professional.



’We’ve known where we want to be for some time but need the PR mechanism

to get there,’ said Mark Salmon, the HFEA’s manager of policy and

ethics.



Salmon said that the PR budget this year would be taken up by the new

appointment but next year it would like to bring in high level strategic

consultancy.



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