The Isle has drafted in Westminster City Council for interim comms support while it recruits a new head of comms, following recommendations made in a review last year.
Heading the operation is Westminster head of marcoms Julia Corkey. ‘We were appointed for a four-month period to help recruit the new head of comms, after a competitive tender,’ she said.
The Isle of Wight needs a senior PRO to analyse how comms can help develop the economy, retain staff and promote the island as a destination, she added.
Westminster’s brief is to develop a comms strategy and improve internal comms, planning and evaluation.
The London council will report to acting director of partnerships, policy and performance John Lawson.
The top comms role is currently held by PR manager Stephanie Light. Her brief will remain unchanged, said Corkey.
The Isle of Wight has struggled to shake off its image as a destination for pensioners. But the reintroduction of the annual Isle of Wight rock festival in 2002 has helped market the island to a younger audience, according to Corkey.
Celebrity endorsement from model Kate Moss and the introduction of hip and luxury hotels has also helped the island’s image.
Westminster is the first local authority to outsource its staff to other councils as a means of generating additional budget. It also handles comms for Richmond-upon-Thames and Slough.