Coventry City Council’s head of PR, Mark Fletcher, is leaving the
council to set up his own consultancy specialising in local government
The council is searching for a new head of PR to replace Fletcher when
he leaves at the end of March after three years at Coventry.
Fletcher currently reports to chief executive Ian Roxburgh and oversees
a five-strong team. The council, which serves a population of 302,500,
has decided to advertise externally for his replacement.
His agency, which will be called Reputation, has already won its first
client. Northcliffe Newspapers Group, which has a printing services arm,
wants to attract business from councils. Fletcher will promote the group
among local government PR heads.
’I want to stretch myself in PR terms and I don’t want to work in-house
for any other local authority at this stage,’ said Fletcher.
He intends to specialise in advising councils with no PR officers on a
project basis. At the last count, in 1994, over 160 councils in England
and Wales had no dedicated PR officers.
’If councils focus their communications, they can have an impact without
spending vast amounts of money,’ he said.
Other local government PR specialists include DTW, based in
Middlesborough, and Citigate Westminster.
Before joining Coventry, Fletcher worked as a freelance PR consultant,
which he juggled with lecturing on communication studies at Coventry
University and a career as a freelance journalist. He is also joint
editor of the Quick and Dirty Guide to PR, published last year by the
IPR local government group for local government press officers.