MoD enlists director to raise profile of forces

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has appointed a defence stalwart to the highest comms role at the department.

Nick Gurr has taken the role of director general of marketing and communications (DGMC) after holding an acting DGMC role for the past five months.

He is responsible for comms policy and strategy across defence, while managing the press office for national and regional media, and overseeing planning.

Gurr denied that his role would involve fighting negative public feelings about the armed forces: 'The public love the armed forces and regard them very highly - that comes through in our polling. So there is no need to turn a negative into a positive. What I think is lacking is an understanding of what they do, why they do it and how they do it.'

Gurr said he would also develop relationships with external stakeholders such as the media, the defence industry and overseas partners such as America, a role that is currently 'not as systematic as it should be'.

He added that he would like to see the MoD become known as a 'consummate communications organisation', with the many disparate comms workers in the Royal Navy, Army and RAF working to a common strategy.

Before taking the acting role Gurr was the MoD's director of comms planning from 2006, a role that he also handled between 1999 and 2002.

Gurr has also worked at the Cabinet Office, where he was deputy chief of assessments staff.

Ian Monk, p22.

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