Police comms stalwart rises up the ranks

Joanne Hunt, a 30-year veteran of police comms, has been appointed head of digital and engagement for West Midlands Police, PRWeek has learned.

Joanne Hunt is the new head of digital and engagement at West Midlands Police
Joanne Hunt is the new head of digital and engagement at West Midlands Police

Hunt joined WMP last week from Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, where she was head of news, and reports to Dan Barton, WMP's assistant director of comms.

She leads a team of 21 people and is responsible for internal and external campaigns, as well as digital engagement, multimedia support and graphic design. She is also providing management support to the regional counter-terrorism communications manager.

Commenting on her new role, Hunt said: “The way we, as a police service, engage with local communities and with our own staff has changed dramatically over the past couple of years, and my priority will be to promote new ways of communicating.”

She added: “The West Midlands has one of the youngest and most diverse populations in the country and we need to make sure we are reaching those people we need to through other, less traditional ways. Engagement is the responsibility of every single person who works or volunteers for the force – everything we do has the potential to make a positive impact on people’s lives.”

It is a return to WMP for Hunt, who started out as a journalist working on the Walsall Advertiser before making the switch to comms in 1990, when she joined the force as a press officer.

She went on to spend more than 27 years with WMP, during which she rose to become comms manager, before leaving to join Staffordshire Police as a senior comms manager. 

When the comms teams from Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service were merged in August 2019 to form a single team working across both organisations, Hunt became head of news.



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