PUBLIC SECT0R: Leeds postpones search for first PR head

Leeds City Council has postponed attempts to find its first head of PR.

The council was to launch a search late last year following a critical review of the council's PR function (PRWeek, 19 October 2001).

But council bosses have admitted the timetabling was optimistic and are yet to finalise details of the role, including pay and the full remit.

One element that has been decided is that the postholder of the newly created role will not report directly to CEO Paul Rogerson.

Instead, the head of PR will report to assistant director of corporate support services James Rogers, who only reports to Rogerson through chief corporate support officer Neil Evans.

A spokeswoman said: 'James (Rogers) has held his hands up and said that he may have been optimistic concerning the process of creating this role. It's very lengthy and has to go through many different stages of negotiation.'

The two-year communications review, which was completed last year, was carried out in-house with assistance from Leeds-based consultant Andrew McEwen.

Aside from the creation of the head of PR post, the review also recommended strengthening strategic PR and improving internal communications.

Meanwhile, Hampshire County Council has also postponed its hunt for a head of corporate marketing and PR, a post vacated by Mike Kean in September last year.

The council failed to fill the post after a search last year and will not re-advertise until later in the year. Head of news Caroline Foley is covering the role in the interim.

Foley said the search has been postponed because the council will first advertise for the lower-ranking PR manger role, a post vacated by Lisa Rogers earlier this year.

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