So, you want my job? Director of comms, NHS Providers

In a new interview series, PRWeek takes a sidelong look at recruitment in public sector comms. This week's spotlight shines on Daniel Reynolds, director of comms at NHS Providers.

Are you good at juggling? Then you might have a shot at being director of comms for NHS providers
Are you good at juggling? Then you might have a shot at being director of comms for NHS providers
Daniel Reynolds

Director of Communications, NHS Providers, the membership body for hospital, mental health, community and ambulance trusts in England. 

Starting salary/salary band for the job? 
Daily Mail alert... Less than the Prime Minister but can be anything from £70-80,000 to around the six figure mark, depending on experience. 

What qualifications do you need?
A degree in being a good people person is essential. A good undergraduate degree and professional diploma is highly desirable, too. 

What level of experience do you need?
A minimum of 10 years' experience of working with policymakers, journalists and key stakeholders at a national level. A strong contacts book and being an effective team leader are important.

Is previous experience in a public sector comms role necessary/useful?
Yes, not least because we often speak in tongues in the NHS (too many acronyms). But it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker and ‘outsiders’ can bring fresh ideas and thinking. We need more of them.
What are the main day-to-day challenges?
Navigating the high-wire act that is representing our members and being a critical friend to government, while avoiding falling off anyone’s Christmas card list. The other is keeping on top of the sheer volume of issues that need responding to on a daily basis, fuelled by 24/7 media and social media.

What is the best part of the job?
Being able to visit staff across the NHS and see first hand the great care they provide – often in challenging circumstances.

What is the most unusual fact you know as a result of this job? 
More than 400 patients have had ‘foreign objects’, such as scalpels, left inside them by mistake after operations during the last four years. Thankfully, it’s incredibly rare.

If you get an interview, do say?
Here’s what your organisation does well, here’s how you can improve, and this is how good strategic comms can make it happen.

If you get an interview, don’t say?
I don’t believe in delegation – I tend to be able to do most things myself. 

If you’re good at this job you might also be well-suited to?
Working in a bar, in the diplomatic circles, or as a juggler. The core skills are highly transferable!

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