So, you want my job? Corporate comms manager, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

PRWeek takes a sidelong look at recruitment in public sector comms. Do you fancy Alexander Mills' job as corporate comms manager, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue?

Don't use the word 'fireman' (it's out of date) and do be prepared for a 3am wake-up call, says Alex Mills
Don't use the word 'fireman' (it's out of date) and do be prepared for a 3am wake-up call, says Alex Mills
Alexander Mills

Corporate communications manager, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, leading a team of three

Starting salary/salary band for the job? 
Grade 11

What qualifications do you need? 
Degree level in a related discipline, such as journalism or public relations.

What level of experience do you need? 
Experience of working in a communication role for a medium to large organisation and strong evidence of delivering campaign-based work that has been proven to make a difference.

Is previous experience in a public sector comms role necessary/useful?
While not essential, it definitely helps to have a basic understanding of the sometimes quite complex world of local government. My NCTJ training has held me in good stead in this respect, but I had previously worked for a public relations agency in the private sector.

What are the main day-to-day challenges? 
Flipping from engaging with staff who are largely not desk-based and work across multiple sites, to designing behaviour change campaigns that make people safer, to potentially having to drop everything to communicate a major emergency incident, means that the job is both varied and challenging.

What is the best part of the job? 
Working on great, creative fun campaigns like Operation Chip Pan that get a brilliant response from the public, but more importantly are proven to deliver a reduction in house fires.

What is the most unusual fact you know as a result of this job? 
I know that the maximum pumping capacity of a High Volume Pump (used by the fire service to deal with flooding) is 7,000 litres of water per minute.

If you get an interview, do say? 
"I love getting woken up at 3am!" We all take it in turns to provide out-of-hours cover. We don’t get called about incidents often, but when we do, it’s normally the middle of the night.

If you get an interview, don’t say? 
"Fireman". Fireman Sam is the only fireman left in the country. We’re really keen to make firefighting a career thath appeals to everyone, including women, so please say firefighters instead.

If you’re good at this job you might also be well-suited to? 
Barista. We get through a lot of coffee in my team!

Please note: Interviewees for 'So, you want my job' are not leaving their current role.

Click here to subscribe to the FREE public sector bulletin to receive dedicated public sector news, features and comment straight to your inbox.

Make sure you register for the site to access more than one story per month.

To submit a news, comment, case study or analysis idea for the public sector bulletin, email

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in