Hackney Council has found a willing candidate to take on ‘the toughest
PR job imaginable’ - assistant chief executive (PR and communications)
for the beleaguered borough.
Lorraine Langham, currently the London Borough of Camden’s head of
communications, beat an initial list of 100 to land the pounds 60,000
salary job, which is one of the highest paid local authority public
relations posts in the UK.
In preparation for Langham’s arrival in three months, Hackney Council is
restructuring its communications division - part of an effort to repair
its scandal-ridden image.
Two new jobs; a head of internal and a head of external communications
will be created within the 29-strong department which will report to
The communications unit which consists of five press officers, plus
Hackney’s Information Bureau and the Translation and Interpretation
unit, will merge with the council’s Corporate Complaints unit.
Hackney’s chief press officer Nick Goslin has been fielding media
enquiries since the departure of head of press and publicity Grainne
Morby last July.
Langham, whose CV includes stints at Harrow, Hammersmith and Fulham and
Hounslow borough councils, will report to and work alongside Hackney
Council’s new chief executive Tony Elliston on a council-wide change
programme called ‘Transforming Hackney.’
‘This is not just a public relations job,’ said Price Waterhouse which
dispatched specially produced glossy brochures on the post to 500
interested callers. ‘There are very few PR roles at this kind of level’.
Elliston said ‘Lorraine will play a crucial role in raising the
expectations that local people have of the council and delivering the
quantum leap in the quality of service they deserve.’
January’s advertisement for the position read: ‘PR jobs don’t come much
tougher than this one. Our relations with the media could hardly be
worse, what with scandals and accusations of inefficiency to contend
Langham, who is in her early 30s, faces the challenge of transforming
‘what could be the worst PR job in London into the best.’