Public Sector: DCLG goes digital as comms cuts bite

Department for Communities and Local Government director of comms George Eykyn has revealed that his team will place digital comms at its core following a restructure that has led to staffing levels being cut by a third.

The DCLG's comms team has reduced its headcount through voluntary redundancies and a recruitment freeze.

The department's annual pay budget for comms has been reduced from £4m in 2010 to £2.7m, while the number of comms specialists within the department and its agencies will drop to 58 by next October.

Eykyn, who has been leading the restructure, said: 'We want digital to be something we all do. That's why we've put our digital team physically at the centre of the office.'

The budget for DCLG's annual Fire Kills campaign remains at a reduced level this year, so the campaign is making increased use of social media, employing creatives developed by agency RKCR Y&R.

Eykyn's role will change as a result of consolidation within the DCLG group to share resources with bodies such as the Homes and Communities Agency. The HCA's head of comms, Keith Kerslake, left in April.

As part of the wider comms changes within Whitehall, it is believed that DCLG will form part of a marketing hub that will also include the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Department for Transport and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

DCLG's former senior marketer, David Watson, moved to Number 10 this summer to take a role in the central campaigns team led by Michael Warren. Watson is likely to be involved in establishing the new marketing hub that includes his old department.

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