BERR appoints customs man to top comms post

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) has appointed a customs and ­excise PRO as its director of communications.

Russell Grossman will take up the role in January, leading an 80-strong comms team. He is presently head of internal and change communications at Revenue and Customs. He will rep­ort to director-general of operations Hilary Douglas.

The department was created on 28 June and comp­rises many functions of the former Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Grossman has worked in public and private sector comms for more than 20 years, including stints as head of internal comms for the BBC and director of comms for Royal Mail.

In the new role he will oversee internal and e-communications, strategic marketing, media relations, speechwriting and stakeholder engagement teams. BERR permanent secretary Brian Bender said: ‘There is much work to be done building and developing the dep­artment’s identity and brand and strengthening relationships.’

Grossman said: ‘Effective communication will play a key role in delivering the ­department’s objectives: ens­uring business success in an increasingly competitive world and being a strong voice at the heart of government.’

Grossman replaces Matthew Hilton, former director of comms and strategy at the now-defunct DTI.

Hilton was the department’s first director of comms but has since been made director of employment relations at the BERR. The function is currently being overseen by acting director of comms Aileen Doughen.

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