So, you want my job? Head of campaigns and digital comms at the Local Government Association

PRWeek takes a sidelong look at recruitment in public sector comms. Do you fancy Hannah Berry's job as head of campaigns and digital comms at the Local Government Association?

There's bins, street lighting and caring for the elderly, but what have councils ever done for us? Hannah Berry knows
There's bins, street lighting and caring for the elderly, but what have councils ever done for us? Hannah Berry knows
Hannah Berry 

Head of campaigns and digital comms, Local Government Association 

Starting salary/salary band for the job? 
Grade 7 

What qualifications do you need?
Degree or equivalent relevant professional qualification/membership of professional body or relevant experience in a similar role.

What level of experience do you need?
You need to be able to demonstrate experience in delivering strategic comms and impactful campaigns across the full marketing spectrum. Experience of building successful relationships is also key – as a cross-party organisation, our messaging has to be signed off by our four political groups so being able to find the common ground is essential. 

Is previous experience in a public sector comms role necessary/useful?
I think it’s certainly useful but not essential. I have an agency background where the majority of my clients were public sector so I hope that I bring a slightly different angle to the role. What is necessary is an understanding of both central and local government, their structures, roles and relationships. 

What are the main day-to-day challenges?
The challenges facing local government aren’t new – by 2019/20 local authorities will have seen a 58 per cent real-term reduction in their funding compared to 2010 and we’re now reaching a tipping point – but, we have to find new ways of telling the story and making it resonate. 

What is the best part of the job?
Councils are essentially the fourth blue light service; they impact your life on a daily basis – whether it’s picking up your bins, lighting your way home or caring for your elderly residents and looking after the most vulnerable in our society – but they often don’t get the recognition they deserve. Being able to represent local government at a national level, campaigning for more powers and better funding on its behalf, and being able to tell the good news stories, highlighting what councils do best, is a real joy.
What is the most unusual fact you know as a result of this job? 
More than one million people work for local government and on a daily basis, councils deliver more than 800 services (including issuing horse passports).

If you get an interview, do say?
"Councillors and council officers are the unsung heroes of the public sector."

If you get an interview, don’t say?
"What has my council ever done for me?"

If you’re good at this job you might also be well-suited to?
Working at the UN – you’d get to put your negotiation skills to the test

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

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