Northamptonshire County Council is to centralise its PR and
marketing activity in a bid to boost interest in local politics.
The centralisation follows a four-month review by head of communications
Peter Heaton and will see the existing central comms team of four
supplemented by nine new posts.
Heaton said: 'We have decided that our use of resources could be
improved by pulling things together. This will create savings from
staffing, and also by virtue of being co-ordinated and more
'The important thing is rather than having a PR person for this and
that, we will have specialists in things such as media relations and
internal comms working across the board,' he added.
The council previously had communications professionals spread across
its business in areas such as social services and education. Among them
were three in-house graphic design teams.
The jobs that will replace them at the centre are three media relations
officers, a senior marketing communications officer, four marketing
communications officers and an internal communications officer.
The changes will mean a £5,000 reduction in salary costs and are
expected to lead to overall savings of five per cent on the £3m
annual communications budget.
Heaton said the move was directed at creating a single voice for the
council that would help build a brand related to the services it
provides. In the past, he said, while council services have been
popular, the council itself has not been.
'Councils do not brand services as belonging to them enough. As part of
the drive to get more people interested in local affairs we have to say
what councils do more clearly,' he said.
The centralisation strategy is one Heaton deployed in a previous role at
Milton Keynes and it has also been deployed recently by some London
boroughs, he said.