So, you want my job? Comms director, City of London Police

PRWeek takes a sidelong look at recruitment in public sector comms. Do you fancy Teresa La Thangue's job as comms director at City of London Police?

The dogs' spelling on the 'police dogs' Twitter account can be atrocious, warns Teresa La Thangue
The dogs' spelling on the 'police dogs' Twitter account can be atrocious, warns Teresa La Thangue
Name: 
Teresa La Thangue

Job: 
Comms director, City of London Police

Starting salary/salary band for the job?
£62,000

What qualifications do you need?
Educated to degree level

What level of experience do you need?
At least 10 years in a comms role. Although we’re the smallest police force in the country, we also hold national responsibilities for economic crime so an understanding of financial services is useful.

Is previous experience in a public sector comms role necessary/useful?
I’d say no. Due to our location, we engage with the private sector a lot either via cases that involve businesses or with our community outreach. Some of our specialist fraud units are funded by industry so understanding what drives and motivates our private sector partners is key. 

What are the main day-to-day challenges?
I’m ultimately responsible for the police dogs’ Twitter account, and sometimes the dogs’ spelling is atrocious. They’re also totally obsessed with balls, it can be difficult to keep them on message. I jest, of course. I think the main challenge is one that a lot of police forces face. We work in a circle of disparate stakeholders, some of whom have conflicting interests and views, so keeping them all happy is, at times, impossible. So I aim to keep them informed as a minimum and work from there.

What is the best part of the job?
The people I work with. I’ve spent most of my career in the private sector, so working with people whose job is a vocation is incredibly inspiring. You can find yourself sitting in a meeting, or standing in a lift, with a colleague who you know the day before performed an act of bravery and saved a life. I work with heroes; there aren’t many jobs where you get to say that.

What is the most unusual fact you know as a result of this job?
The City of London Police is a reigning Olympic Gold medal winner. The force won the gold medal in 1908, shared the silver medals in 1912 and won gold again in 1920, the last time the tug-of-war appeared as an Olympic event. We featured on Blue Peter with our medal last year. I was very proud.

If you get an interview, do say?
For the smallest force, you punch well above your weight. 

If you get an interview, don’t say?
You’re a unit of the Met, aren’t you?

If you’re good at this job you might also be well-suited to?
Working for a trade body, a regulator, or another blue-light service.

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

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