Digital content manager at the Local Government Association.
Starting salary/salary band for the job?
What qualifications do you need?
Most of the team are degree-educated or hold relevant professional qualifications, and industry experience in communications or journalism is essential. However, of equal importance are creativity, a hunger to learn and a passion for the job.
What level of experience do you need?
Digital is such a broad term, which means the skill set and experience required has to be equally expansive. The job involves video, social media, copywriting, coding, campaigning, content planning (and creation), email marketing, storytelling and much, much more – and that’s not to mention the constant need to be able to translate often highly complex ideas and themes into something that’s digestible, interesting and resonates with those outside local government.
Is previous experience in a public-sector comms role necessary/useful?
Useful, perhaps, but not necessary. I joined the LGA having been a journalist in the regional and national press for the best part of a decade, and I think the fact that I had no comms experience, nor had I worked in the public sector previously, helped me bring an outsider’s point of view to the organisation and a fresh insight into how we and the industry are perceived. Having said that, familiarity with the processes and challenges unique to the sector can only help.
What are the main day-to-day challenges?
The toughest challenge is being able to carve out the time to put the day-to-day stuff to one side and focus on the bigger, strategic projects. It’s not always easy to do, but it’s essential if you are to meet the objectives of the organisation. It can also be hard to keep telling the local government story in new ways, particularly given that we’ve been highlighting concerns around councils’ financial hardship for several years. How many times can you say local authorities are at breaking point before the message loses its impact?
What is the best part of the job?
I am fortunate at the LGA that if I – or a member of the team – have an idea, we get the backing to run with it. Obviously, not everything works as you’d hoped, but as long as those ventures provide a lesson for the future (and, of course, don’t damage the reputation of the organisation or sector), they can still have a positive outcome.
I work with really talented, fun and nice people who make being at work genuinely enjoyable. Even on Monday mornings.
And lastly, without wanting to sound too trite, championing the work of councils and fighting the local government cause remains a privilege.
What is the most unusual fact you know as a result of this job?
There are plenty, but this might just be my favourite: the first women won the right to vote in local elections nearly half a century before women’s suffrage was extended to parliamentary elections.
If you get an interview, do say…
"I've got an idea…"
If you get an interview, don’t say…
"I don’t get social media."
If you’re good at this job you might also be well-suited to…
News editing. In both roles, you need to be able to work simultaneously on a multitude of projects, build strong working relationships with colleagues from across the organisation, and instinctively know what tone and approach to take.
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 Ian.Griggs@haymarket.com