Hopwood PR launches partnership with Leicester Council to develop talent

The Leicester-based consultancy has teamed up with the council's comms team to help train its media comms officer in exchange for developing its own internship programme.

Caroline Ashman NWLDC comms team leader, Elizabeth Warhurst, Duncan Hopwood, MD of Hopwood PR, Vickie Tebbutt, account manager at Hopwood PR and recruit Oliver Willis
Caroline Ashman NWLDC comms team leader, Elizabeth Warhurst, Duncan Hopwood, MD of Hopwood PR, Vickie Tebbutt, account manager at Hopwood PR and recruit Oliver Willis

North West Leicestershire District Council advertised the job as the "best of both worlds", with the successful applicant gaining in-house experience at the council and agency experience at Hopwood.

After the council processed applications, Hopwood joined them for the interviews, before coming to a joint decision. They recruited graduate Oliver Willis for the position.

Willis will spend one day a week at the agency to learn about private practice, selling to clients and the media, social media and campaign planning and management. In exchange, Hopwood’s interns will gain in-house PR experience by spending one day a week in the council’s comms office.

Willis joins the council’s comms team as a recent graduate and will provide in-house comms support to the council’s varied services. As the key contact for external comms, he will create campaigns, work with the media and develop social media networks.

Elizabeth Warhurst, head of legal and support services at the council, said: "We know councils have teamed up with private PR firms before for campaigns and communications support, but we’re not aware of any other partnerships like this.

"This model of a private sector company helping to develop our staff has worked previously, and we’re confident that everyone involved will see numerous benefits."

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