Cheshire council hires former print and broadcast journalist to lead comms

Cheshire East Council has appointed former print and broadcast journalist Beverley Walkden as its new head of comms and media.

Beverley Walkden: Former reporter for the Manchester Evening News
Beverley Walkden: Former reporter for the Manchester Evening News

Walkden beat 40 other candidates to win the role, which was announced by the council this week.

In her role, Walkden, who will report directly to the chief executive, will oversee marketing, social media, the press office and high-profile public relations campaigns.

Walkden said: "My first task has been to recruit some really great people who are highly respected in their field and the team is already delivering some impressive results."

Walkden has already spent three years working in the council’s press office as a media relations officer.

Before this, she was a reporter and anchor on Manchester’s first local television station, Channel M, which was part of the Manchester Evening News.

Previously, Walkden was a senior print reporter for the Manchester Evening News and Macclesfield Express.

She added: "There will always be a home for the traditional press release on any local authority website, but the way people consume messages has changed rapidly. I believe video will help promote more engagement among residents because people want a face and a personality, which is why YouTube is such a phenomenal hit. I'll be bringing my enthusiasm for film-making to the fore and encouraging leaders to deliver more key messages via video as an addition to the standard press statement."

Walkden said she had already appointed two more journalists, former Sky News presenter Trevor Green and former Lancaster Guardian editor Stephen Brauner, to help her in the press team on an interim basis.

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