From our readers: 'Super teams' are not necessary just yet

Last week, your front page suggested the idea of merging Whitehall press offices into 'super teams' is being considered (News, 24 September). If this were to happen as part of an overall streamlining of departments, then it would make sense.

However, done in isolation, it is the type of idea that looks good on paper, but almost certainly won't work.

For press teams to work effectively, there have to be short lines of communication between the press officer and the boss (whether a minister or a CEO). If a team operates at a distance from the centre, an informal degree of press management will start to re-emerge at the heart of the organisation (especially around ministers), leading to more duplication and, ultimately, cost.

What is needed here is not a new big structure. Instead, the press offices need to be slimmed right down and focused purely on the core function of facilitating a constructive and open relationship between government and the media.

Once that is done, there needs to be a simple and clear communication framework between the different departments so that activity is co-ordinated and duplication is avoided. We don't need 'super teams' any time soon.

Fiona Thorne, managing director, Fishburn Hedges

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