The role has been created following a review that was sparked by the departure of the charity’s previous most senior PRO, director of communications Deborah Curtis, in April.
Co-ordinated by director of strategy and change John Hunston and chief executive Shaks Gosh, the review concluded that the top PR role needed to have a greater degree of emphasis on campaign co-ordination.
As a result, fundraising, which was previously overseen by Curtis, is now a separate department, leaving the comms and campaigning director to cover only public affairs, PR and marketing activity at Crisis.
Media executive Amy Bick said the bolstering of the campaigning aspect to communications is also linked to a rebrand of the charity, carried out last year.
Bick said: ‘This rebrand put an emphasis on Crisis as a campaigner, and this change reflects that.’
Last year’s rebrand also saw the scrapping of the charity’s long-standing red house icon, which was replaced by an image of a pane of glass with the word ‘Help’ written across it (PRWeek, 23 August 2002).
One focus for the post-holder will be to drive through the charity’s ongoing ‘hidden homelessness’ campaign. This refers to single and childless couples, whom the charity argues are disadvantaged under current housing policy.
Bick said this campaign would next focus on raising awareness of those who are forced to sleep on the floors of friends and family. Next month, the results of research into the issue will be unveiled. Further PR pushes in early December and January are also planned.