She effectively takes over from Oona Muirhead, who held the top PR role - director of strategy - for just under two years.
The post, which reports to chief executive Paul Coen, has been renamed to better represent the brief, which now has a greater focus on stakeholder relations (PRWeek, 1 September). The role also now oversees the LGA's research function.
‘The biggest challenge is getting closer to our members [councils] and better understanding what drives their vision,' Crighton told PRWeek.
Crighton, previously one of six programme directors at the LGA, is leading new research into customer satisfaction, being carried out in conjunction with the National Consumer Council.
As a programme director, Crighton specialised in policy around inspections, local area agreements and the ‘leadership agenda'. She previously worked at the Audit Commission in a non-comms role.
She also now takes charge of LGA's ongoing Reputation project, which aims to get councils to boost investment in comms.
Muirhead has moved into the role of director of special projects, reporting to Coen. She is charged with projects on economic growth and knowledge management.