PUBLIC SECTOR: WDA overhaul sees media and comms post dropped

The Welsh Development Agency has made its director of media and communications redundant in an overhaul of its PR and marketing function.

Eight-year incumbent Bet Davies is to become head of marketing and communications for Cardiff's bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2008 following the restructure of the government-backed body.

The WDA is now seeking to recruit a head of PR to report to marketing director Gareth John.

The successful candidate, likely to be appointed by the end of May, will assume responsibility for a four-strong communications team, as well as managing the WDA's relationship with its external PR agencies, principally The Communication Group

John, who joined the agency in October last year with a remit to review the PR function, said that he had concluded that the communications director position 'was not looking to the future'.

'The post was involved with handling sponsorship and sitting back and looking at things from a board-level position,' he said.

He added that the communications and media director position did not fit his definition of a PR role: 'We're redefining the role to be based on more day-to-day work.'

According to John, once the new head of PR is in place a further review of the body's PR handling will take place, aimed at ensuring that work is satisfactorily divided between the in-house team and external agencies.

'We want more clarity in the work so that the agency works on strategic and tactical work while the in-house team handles day-to-day enquiries,' he added.

Davies joins the Cardiff bid, jointly backed by Cardiff City Council and the Welsh Assembly, for an initial six-month secondment to be extended depending on the success of the bid.

The role will see Davies assist in the promotion of the bid to MPs and companies across Cardiff and the rest of Wales.

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